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Cross Department collaboration for Product Managers in a Scale Up
Deal discovery to match founders and investors
Launched in April 2018
Moved over from London in August 2017 to build the product
Background in building product in the edTech, FinTech in
3,000 startups, 300 investors
City of Rotterdam,YesDelft!, among others as ecosystem
2 designers (UI & UX)
3 front end
2 back end
1 Data Scientist
Outsourced and in house (time differences)
WordPress Marketing Site,Web, iOS & Android
What do we
Regular meetings to keep everyone in the loop:
- Quarterly pipeline plan (sales, marketing, CEO, PO)
- 2 weeks sprint plan (Dev team, designer, PO, copywriter)
- Weekly sprint update (Dev team, designer, PO, Copywriter)
- Weekly sprint update (sales, marketing, CEO, PO)
- Sprint Review (full team)
Slack updates when content is available for review
For example, a front end developer who can take initiative on
design, designer who can take initiative on copy, product
owner who can plan ahead for the sales teams.
For this, people need to let go of egos, some people who want
complete ownership which is encouraged but sometimes we
can't 2 days for copy, or an Zeplin export for a small alignment
change on the dashboard...
Best ideas should win in a discussion between the department,
not the titles which in a small team are essentially worthless
Design backlog, one piece holding up the other piece, aim to be
2 sprints ahead
Sales feedback from potential new features, not in the way
they first envisioned
Attempt to gain influence across the process, trust expertise,
development need to be trusted to make decisions on process
for most efficient implementation, dev team need to trust the
pipeline is most effective features to gain results
Any stakeholder needs to be able to convince the other team
members on the feature/decision. If your team don't
understand the suggestion intuitively, the user most probably
Beware of 'know it alls', have an opinion on every point in the
cycle, the specialists opinion needs to be respected, experience
is what those salaries are paid for.
These are relatively new roles, especially with new titles,
Product Owner, Product Manager, UX Designer, with the lines
blurred and responsibilities shared, decisions should be skill
based rather than titles. Leadership for the top is essential to
keep everyone on the same page (PO & CEO)
Another key sign Product Managers may exhibit which shows
you that a level of understanding needs to be reached is when
they seem to tell other functions the how and not the what.
For example, a requirement could be that the user must be
able to download a file but the Product Manager might tell you
how to implement a feature instead.They may even be very
specific about how this should work - “a user must be able to
download a file, from the file manager, from a download icon
on the right side panel”.
Previously mentioned similarity to management in sports.
People over process but people need process.
A good process won't turn an amateur into a professional, you
need talent. But without process, talent can go to waste.
Too much process is also hindering for different types of
characters, some characters, thrive given ownership, some
Players need to take initiative, sometimes a player can be
selfish, bypass process and tactics and take the game into their
own hands, shoot from 30 yards once but if they keep doing it
without results, the team will be annoyed
Maintain integrity, drop ego, do not build cliques (it's not Game
Take responsibility, there is always someone to blame
Date driven decisions, release a feature, view the conversion
Encourage free flow of ideas
Respect for each other's skills and experience
Best ideas always win
"Players lose you games, not tactics.There's so much crap talked
about tactics by people who barely know how to win at
dominoes" England's exit from Euro 2000, explained the Cloughie