Raymond, Online Product Manager, sums up his job in one sentence – managing digital products from inception, development, all the way to the actual production.
The role of a Product Manager differs across big and small companies. There are the usual days, and there are some special days. Special days are days when we celebrate our victories or when we wreck our brains to perfect a time-sensitive prototype.
As a Product Manager focusing on online products, I manage projects throughout the development stage, creating prototypes (this is my favourite, by far) and validating any theory of assumptions from the team. All Product Managers will agree that the smallest detail in a feature can result in a whole lot of difference at the development stage. So, there you have it – one needs to be extremely meticulous and be ready to continually define various functions to ensure a perfect product feature or update.
The big picture
I have the habit of starting my day right off the bat from the previous day (so, breakfast at home is my routine). I love lining up my thoughts and tasks for the day while preparing myself for any meetings I have as well. You see, I aim to perfect even the smallest detail, yet every once in a while, I’ll take a step back from my projects to try and see the bigger picture. Because it is a team effort, seeing the bigger picture helps me ensure that everyone is aligned. This makes for a great feature or update that is developed on time and in a way that we desire!
Stand-up meetings – our daily grind
Daily stand-up meetings are the core fundamental “catch-up” sessions that every product team must have. What I love about these meetings with the Product and Engineering teams are that they help us to keep track of our progress. At the same time, we can clear any doubts or issues we have. Ultimately, it is indeed a joint effort amongst every one of us to release a fantastic new product feature that other departments and customers can enjoy to make their lives easier – which is an achievement for us!
Everybody is assigned their individual roles – data, engineering, user-experience design, digital marketing. At the same time, the entire team’s effort contributes to the overall product. It really helps that we get along well with one another here in Wavecell.
Working on a new feature project means that I get to experience our insane (yet exciting) product process:
- Scope details of the feature
- Input the user demographics, problems, and specifics into a mindmap
- Define development concept
- Debate on specifics and various scenarios
- Understanding competitors’ pros and cons with the Sales folks
- Improving upon the product, consider any modifications – questions like these constitute what I call the “doubting process.”
While our sprint workshops mainly consist of these core factors now, it is essential that we have many of these mini sprint workshops on a regular basis. This ensures that every team member understands what the new feature will consist of and why we are doing it.
The innovation process
This is when the magic happens – when the Engineering team begins with the actual development! I am regularly updated on their progress at various stages and milestones of their development. I will constantly check on the functions of the features, how it works, figure out areas for improvements and always raise doubts about the product. This is a continuous process for any product manager, to look for areas of improvement. It is part and parcel of improving and innovating!
On the topic of online products, our new customer portal is another project that I worked on, end-to-end. In collaboration with the Marketing team, we wanted to determine the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. I enjoy getting inspired by various metrics, analytics, and reports, as they enable me to understand our customers’ behaviour better. This, in turn, will help us to create a better marketing strategy.
Working the ad campaigns
I also work closely with the Marketing team on online ad campaigns, which helps enhance awareness and attract potential customers. With these campaigns, I evaluate the website traffic, and experiment with different campaigns such as SMS marketing and pricing, or bulk SMS, to determine which ones are more effective. Studying these numbers and figures improve our understanding of our customers’ behaviour, as well as our metrics.
Home sweet home
It’s great to go home at the end of each day. Funny thing though, my mind is always searching for new innovative ideas to design our products better, and I’d dream about it sometimes. It isn’t because of the stress or that I may be a workaholic. This job is more like my passion, something that I enjoy, and I embrace the eagerness to make a difference!