Use & impact of “Red Way of Work” in the ICT product development team of Grameenphone
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Grameenphone LTD, a joint venture between the Norwegian telecom company Telenor and the Bangladeshi company Grameen Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Bangladesh. Grameenphone has been the champion mobile operator since the embryonic stages of the telecom industry in the country, and with more than 15,000 2G and 3G sites as well as the growing number of 4G sites (currently more than 10,000), the Grameenphone network covers 99% of the country’s geographical area and has more than 75 million customers (as of June 2019). Grameenphone’s strategy has constantly evolved to best serve the changing market nature of the telecom industry – from an industry whose major business was built on voice service mostly, it quickly transformed to position itself as the number one mobile data connectivity provider with the emergence of 3G and 4G technology. Now, in this era of 4G and with 5G knocking at the door, Grameenphone and Telenor has already realized that the next paradigm shift of the telecom and connectivity market would cross the traditional use of mobile phones by customers for voice and data to digital, IoT, ICT, automation and smart living. With the ambition to capture the number one position in the digital lifestyle of customers as well as lead the ICT revolution in the country from the front, Grameenphone has added more and more resources into secondary products in the niche market of ICT and IoT products such as industrial automation, M2M communications, cloud infrastructure, software-as-a-service, vehicle telematics, smart home, smart tracking and smart farming. The main demarcation line was drawn out that digital apps were targeted for the consumer segment of the market (B2C) whereas the ICT and IoT products were targeted for the enterprise or business customers (B2B). However, with diffusion of influence and sensing market needs, this demarcation line has been growing thinner with both streams of products being customized to be offered to more target customers, crossing the boundary of consumer and enterprise segments. Grameenphone started to develop products and services with less resources and exposing them to limited enthusiastic customers. This is more commonly known as the “Red way of work” in which the target was to capture customer feedback as fast as possible and work on them to bring new iterations of the product, increasing the exposure to customers in the process and finally complete versions of the products were created. As a member of the ICT Product team of Grameenphone working as a Product Developer, I have had good exposure to these practices. This report describes the product development and product management process of Grameenphone. A survey was conducted to identify which of the practices are followed in the product management and Product Development teams in Grameenphone. It was found that the development team is following the Red Way of Work while the Product Management team follows the Blue Way of Work. Though these teams follow different modalities for their work, it is recommended that the values and the ways of work converge with each other in order to make this venture of B2B business through ICT Products successful.