Who runs your budget?

Budgeting Jun 27, 2021

Many moons ago I was coaching teams for a US Bank's credit card company division. And this funny story was about how feature's were prioritized for being built.

One of the interesting observations when teams when into planning or refinement (discussing upcoming features in future sprints), the source of the request of the feature was always stated - this one is to catch up with Bank of America. This other feature is to catch up with American Express. Another feature was to copy what Citibank was doing. And another one with Discover... and the story went on.

Well, there is nothing per se with a "catch up" strategy where an organization is always running to catch up with their competitors. That too is a valid strategy in case one decides they are not going to be a first mover and to wait and see what the market wants or what the competitor's are doing.

There is one major problem with this non-innovative copy approach. Your competitors are running your budget. They are forcing your hand on what you should be spending your money on (though it looks like you are the one taking that decision) while they are able to spend their monies on market leading or ahead of the curve functionality that they were offering their customers.

Which begs the question, what are your people in business, product management actually doing? Spending each time to figure out what to copy?


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