TUI – Lessons learnt on the journey to product management

How TUI shifted their focus from a project to product approach

TUI Group are the largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world, made up of tour operators, hotels, airlines, and cruise ships.

Like many organizations today, TUI Group recognized the need to shift their focus from a projects to product approach, by raising the skills bar for their product managers and looking at organizational alignment between business and technology.

Watch the webinar to hear the benefits that TUI are experiencing from making the change.


Emergn Case Study - TUI webinar


We received some more questions during and after the webinar. Have a look below to see the responses:

Can you give a few examples of TUI’s digital products?

All our websites and mobile apps, CRM and customer management systems, Marketing automation platform, Knowledge management and collaboration platforms. Basically if it’s delivered through technology and has a need for constant evolution and launch of new features/capabilities, it’s a product.

Does this signal the end of projects in TUI?

There will always be projects but we expect they will become the exception. They are generally enabling initiatives that have a very clear deliverable end date before going into a ‘business as usual’ management. A good example is a recent update to our procurement or finance systems.

Are you adopting a fail fast approach?

Yes we are. Through the product management approach we have adopted with Emergn, one of the tools we use is an Assumptions Matrix. Product managers are expected to design experiments to validate their underlying assumptions. Where assumptions are found to be incorrect we then revisit the overall value proposition to either adapt it or to bin it.

Are teams co-located for the 10 weeks?

Ideally yes but this is not always pragmatic. Product managers are expected to create the best collaboration environment they can within the real-world constraints. We do encourage pushing against constraints to see if they are real of just perceived.

What will be the differences between introducing and then scaling this change?

We are confident that the value of the product management approach has proven it can work well within TUI. There are however processes that need to be re-designed to enable the approach to scale. We also recognize that we need to scale education beyond product managers to the leadership and other functions. We are also planning to use Emergn’s online delivery offering to help reach a broader audience.

How does TUI map complex customer needs to product as well as business drivers?

To cut a long story short, we’re ruthless when it comes to breaking down needs/benefits into bitesized chunks and then prioritizing. The customer needs are typically identified through detailed customer insight (both qualitative and quantitative). Business drivers are simpler as everything needs to deliver against core KPIs and we deliver the most valuable first. All of these tasks sit within the Product function – we’re expected to know our customers inside-out and be able to match their needs with business outcomes whilst ensuring we deliver the most valuable first.

…Particularly when it is constantly evolving (business as well as customer needs as well)?

This is where you need experience in delivering at pace. We’ll test ideas/opportunities early on and quantify the benefit through a lean canvas. This is a very quick and easy way of testing the scale of the opportunity and we’ll often quickly hack together Proof of Concepts to better understand technical difficulty. Covering this up-front helps us feed into prioritization so we’re constantly building the most valuable features as quickly as possible.

Please explain what you mean by the ‘VFQ Product Management Pathway’.

The VFQ Product Management Pathway helps learners to bring ideas to life, from their generation to the development of prototypes, MVPs, and market-ready propositions. It offers a structured process that uses theory and templates to drive action on challenges that are real to the learner. It guides learners through the latest thinking and how to implement it to build great products.

Value, Flow, Quality (VFQ) is an action-learning education program focused on outcomes. Our philosophy is based on the idea that different people learn in different ways, and that the most impactful learning happens when people understand things and then get to apply those concepts directly in their own work.

If you have more questions about the webinar, please feel free to email us.

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