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Interview with Jörg Malang  – A Series of posts about The Betsson Team Leaders

For Jörg Malang, joining Betsson Group was no unexpected career move. Jörg joined the Group after many years in different industries as Chief Product Officer and Managing Director. His MBA and impressive career in Product, made him the ideal candidate for the Chief Product Officer (CPO) position at the Betsson Group.

Jörg joined in December 2016 and spent the first 100 days analysing the various fields of action and mapping a way forward.

Product is the layer between the Tech Department and the rest of the company. It’s made up of around 70 team members, out of which some 30 are product owners at any given time.

The role of product owners?  “To make sure the right projects get dropped” Jörg says. We need an explanation at this stage… “Ideas are cheap,” he adds “it’s very easy to have ideas, but how they can be executed efficiently & effectively and the way they impact our KPI’s, is what matters.”

Trying new things is important to stay nimble, in any industry, especially iGaming. Large organisations can struggle with this, just like changing the direction of a large ship, it is no easy task. To change the direction of a large company, is equally challenging.

“Ideas are welcome from any source” Jörg says, they come from every direction. They go through a number of validation stages and the ones that make it through are then assessed for their impact on our KPI’s, he adds. 

It’s important that we do not waste resources and recognise early on, which projects must be dropped, and which ones we must see through. If they go on too long they can drain valuable resources and steer the ship away from the desired direction, he explains. 

Agile product development means that we see results in weeks and are in a position to take a clear decision early, most of the time. Everything is validated against the goals and progress towards the fulfilling of Betsson’s strategy.

Jörg’s Team forms part of the central functions within the Betsson Group. Its smooth operation is core to the Group’s success. As a true Product veteran, Jörg wanted to make sure that he has visibility of all the elements that come into play, before planning the way forward.

The Product Team’s role is to prioritise the work, communicate what is going to be delivered over time and help provide and share a clear picture of the strategy. “Our work is a process, it is never finished” says Jörg. In our line of work mindset and attitude are everything, because our success hinges on how well we communicate.

As an organisation led by Ulrik’s vision of being the most customer-centric in the industry, it is key for us to learn how to always listen to our customers and read customer insights better.

The organisation that manages to turn what it learns from customer listening into products and services fast enough, wins. We want to be that winner. There is a lot of noise in customer insight and it is not easy, but we are focused on reaching our goals. “We hear a lot about Big Data, it’s more about the Right Data”.

The Product Team has no easy task. Balancing what customers want with the capabilities of the Group whilst staying aligned with commercial goals is no easy feat. If this balance is achieved most of the time then the ship will keep steering in the right direction, and come to port with the right goals.