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Unboxed event: Unblocking your product portfolio

Jo Oliveira, Nov. 8, 2022



Speakers include:

  • Holly Brenan, Design Lead at Unboxed, as facilitator
  • Imogen Morten-Spencer, Head of IT Project Delivery at University of the Arts London (UAL)
  • Matt Wood-Hill, Head of Digital Planning Software at Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)
  • Tom Gayler, Service Designer at Unboxed
  • Adam Shabbir, Service Owner at Genomics England
  • Shafiqa Gunton, Deputy Director Digital Delivery at Department for Education
  • Eunice Dakwoji, Head of Product and Service Design at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)


Digital leaders running large portfolios of digital products need to deliver immediate value to end users and the organisation.

These portfolios can consist of multiple digital products, all at very different stages, from very early discovery to established live and scaled services. At any stage of the product development lifecycle, there’s a risk that each individual product in your pipeline could become blocked.

This could be because:

  • you don’t have the capacity or capability within your in-house team
  • you can’t provide new and innovative solutions due to inflexible legacy technology
  • stakeholders resist user-centred approaches, hindering uptake and scalability across your organisation

These are just a few examples of the many potential problems which could ultimately result in your entire product portfolio stalling. Failing to deliver value to either your users or the organisation is a digital team’s worst nightmare.

How can this be avoided?

We were joined on Wednesday 7th December where digital leaders shared their stories and experiences of when they’ve faced a stalled portfolio of products, the blockers they’ve experienced and the approaches, including the tools and techniques, used to overcome these challenges.

These were real life accounts from the frontline including successes, failures, warning signs and lessons learned for attendees to take away to apply in their own organisation.


Some of the questions asked and discussed included:

  • to what degree do you see digital roles embedded within service teams as opposed to being external consultants for service teams
  • how are you involving the 'legacy' tech teams in the changes?
  • have there been any challenges that came out of bringing policy and delivery teams together?
  • there seems to be a tension between "services" - how we organise ourselves and deliver value - and "products" - the technology we need to support those services. Should we be talking about unblocking our service ecosystem rather than our product pipeline?

Thank you

A huge thank you to all of our speakers for taking the time to share their stories.

If you’re interested in attending a future event, please get in touch to register your interest by emailing: