The product workers: field report – service providers control through retained organization

Product Leader Nam Hoang Dong shares his experience from a retained organization, where he managed large service providers with a small product team.


Product worker Tim Klein talks to business IT specialist Nam Hoang Dong in this episode of the podcast “Die Produktwerker”. The current head of the IT department of a large German retail company talks about his experience as a product leader in a retained organization and how it feels to manage a large external service provider as a product manager.


Hoang Dong has many years of experience in retail (including MediaMarkt, ESPRIT, Thalia) and in this episode talks about the time at ESPRIT, during which the agile transformation of the service provider at the time also took place. Retained organization (or management) is understood as a mostly smaller unit that controls commissioned service providers. In practice, this often happens after outsourcing processes.

Retained management ensures that there are no excessive dependencies between the outsourcing company and its external service providers. The interface takes care of all the details of the collaboration. The fashion retailer ESPRIT built up the entire online business in this form over many years. The agile product development of the online shop also happened in this way.

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