5 Lessons On How To Transition In 5 Weeks
Aik-Phong Ng from Fave Singapore penned this article (original source) about how to handle a big transition quickly and easily.
Make sure to also catch his case study at eTail Asia this year.
It was almost exactly a month ago, on 8th March 2017 that we announced the acquisition of Groupon Singapore by Fave Group Pte Ltd.
And what a whirlwind it has been since!
By end of March, our business in Singapore had grown 20% MoM, we have signed up many (in the double digits) top national merchants to feature their respected brands on our platform, to acquire, retain and delight a new set of customers, evolving their brands alongside with ours (you know who you are, so thank you very much for your support!). Team morale is good, anecdotally from our Whatsapp group chats and quantitatively from our productivity inputs and outputs metrics.
We have begun the process of migrating our merchants from Groupon to Fave App for a few weeks now, and we have just gotten out of Beta mode on the 12th of April 2017, to officially kick-start phase 1 of our consumer migration plan, to get people to try out the Fave App and Fave Web (www.myfave.com).
This is a short sharing of my personal journey and insights thus far, managing the business in this one month, so that others might benefit from our journey as well.
1) Get to know each employee, 1 on 1
Part of our acquisition process was to conduct 1:1 chit-chats with pretty much every staff of the company post announcement. Joel Neoh and I were tasked to interview the client facing teams, and though we scheduled 10 mins each, it almost always took double or triple the time! But what fun and insights we took away from these precious interactions.
We simply asked each staff 3 questions: What he/she thinks we should
- (I) Stop doing,
- (II) Continue doing,
- (III) Start doing.
2) Get out of the way... Let the teams do their job! (But before that, your job is to remove barriers and support them)
Armed with the spreadsheet of challenges and ideas gleaned ground up, we started to quickly execute on the ones that we could do with most impact, and re-prioritised the ones that might take longer to execute. How fast did we execute? I remember a team manager coming to me, just one day after a problem was brought up, saying "AP, you mean we have already actioned on it and the staff involved notified already??"
"Previously, it was cannot, maybe...
Now, it's Can do, How to do, lets do!"
3) Over-communicate your new plans, direction and product roadmap
In the short 4 weeks, we had 4 sharing sessions, a mixture of townhalls and sharing from our founders Joel & Chen Chow, CTO Arzumy, Head of Ops Shakira, Fave product leads Abhisek & Vishvesh and guest speaker Pieter Kemps of Sequoia Capital.
Because we operate on a Hub and Spoke basis with operational, engineering and the bulk of management based out of KL, it is important to keep the regional teams aligned and at the same time getting feedback from the teams in Singapore for product development inputs.
4) Track and Manage your projects and business metrics daily, weekly
We conduct WBRs (Weekly Business Review) and Daily Groupon-to-Fave Migration Standup sessions to synch up on inputs, outputs and deliverables. In such sessions, we find out how we are doing against input an output targets, ask the teams if they need any help, figure out how to bridge performance gaps, and decide if any course correction is needed.
Immediate actions are then taken, and tracked religiously on Google Sheets or Dropbox Paper to ensure all items are followed through. (Once again thank you Daniela Llobert, you are such a gem of a leader!)
5) It helps to have a team that is fun, collaborative and who executes crazy fast and well!
And that my friend, begins with you! :)
Aik-Phong Ng is the Managing Director of Fave Singapore, Southeast Asia’s leading Online-to-Offline and cashless payment startup.
AP, as he is more commonly known, is a founding member of Fave (previously known as KFit). As VP of Business Development, he was responsible for driving rapid business expansion of the popular fitness subscription platform KFit across Asia. He currently heads out Fave's Singapore business, focusing on growing the FavePay cashless payment and loyalty rewards solution amongst F&B merchants, as well as driving customer adoption of FavePay.
AP will be presenting a Case Study Revolution - Towards a smart cashless society with contactless payment: How to take advantage of the government's initiative to grow the business and 'WOW' in consumers and merchants at eTail Asia 2018.
To know more about AP’s case study & discover the other great activities, speakers, & sessions planned for this year, download the latest etail agenda.