Back to resources

How to Adapt the Roadmap Process to a Hyper-Growth Scaleup

Alignment
Scaling Team
Hiring
Strategy

6 July, 2021

Emmanuel Hosanski
Emmanuel Hosanski

Product Director at ManoMano

Emmanuel Hosanski, Product Director at Mano Mano, talks about the strategies you might need to reach the unicorn status.

Problem

Everyone talks about how growing and expanding a team is an exciting phase; hardly anyone talks about the unexpected problems that follow. The same happened to me when I first joined. Starting with about 5PMs, we rapidly grew to having 35 teams. That was massive in a period of two and half years. Although it was strong growth, the challenge revolved around involving everyone in the process of building a roadmap. Evidently, there was no actual alignment on the priorities that were causing frustration from the business. The problems grew like wildfire, just as the company was also increasing.

Actions taken

To begin with, we demanded that we should have the E-Team agree on 3 - 4 main themes for the semester. Although it might sound very simple, in reality, it was indeed challenging. They were not used to prioritizing goals the way they should have been done. Once the themes were set, the teams would define the OKRs linked to those themes. For instance, if one of the themes were mobile, the OKR would be to improve the conversion rate on mobile of X%.

Moving on, we implemented what we called “problem pitches.” Long story short, every 6 months, we would have an open meeting, where anyone theoretically could come and pitch a problem. We gave the liberty to everyone to discuss problems that were worthy of being solved by the product; then, they could have discussed that with us. The most significant barrier was that people were pretty much solution-oriented, but we wanted to prioritize problems rather than the solutions. We had a clear framework of how we could share the problem, which in my opinion, was very strong. We asked 3 questions:

  • What is the problem the user is facing?
  • How do you know it was a problem?
  • How would you know that we have solved the problem?

After the pitches, we had a voting process to prioritize the problems. It was very successful in bringing the business into the process of building.

Finally, we created solution workshops. Once we had prioritized the problem pitches, we would the key stakeholders for each and lead dedicated sessions to explore the solutions. This was a way to make sure that we had the right people in the room defining the solution. Something great came out of the solution workshops, and that was it helped us collaborate. In the end, we were able to build the roadmap that we had initially started working on.

Lessons learned

  • As a Product Manager, we are more leaned towards prioritizing our tasks, while the rest of the organization is more oriented towards ad-hoc projects. Sometimes they expect us to do all the work, and we have to fight for it. It is important to explain the process to get everyone on the same page.
  • Prioritizing should be as much about what to do than what not to do. If it does not hurt, you probably haven’t prioritized enough. Sometimes you need to be a little frustrated to get the best out of your work.
  • Although it may sound cliche, the product teams need to find their way into the organization. In that way, it would become easier to move forward in the near future.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

The Importance of Culture and Values When Building Teams

26 May

Elwin Lau, Director of Software at Jana, advocates the importance of maintaining culture within a company when scaling teams.

Mission / Vision / Charter
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Company Culture
Collaboration
Onboarding
Sharing The Vision
Elwin Lau

Elwin Lau

Director of Software at JANA Corporation

10x engineer or 10x impact?

26 May

Hiring 10x engineers is hard for most companies. It’s a tough battle out there for talent. So how should most companies approach building their team?

Building A Team
Leadership
Hiring
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Vaidik Kapoor

Vaidik Kapoor

VP Engineering - DevOps & Security at Grofers

How to Streamline Your Recruitment Process for Quick and Effective Hiring

26 May

Philip Gollucci, Director of Cloud Engineering at CareRev, describes a new method for hiring in a market climate that favors candidates instead of recruiters.

Scaling Team
Building A Team
Hiring
Philip Gollucci

Philip Gollucci

CEO/Founder at P6M7G8 Inc.

How to Maximize Employee Retention in Engineering Teams

25 May

Vimal Patel, Founder and CTO at iMORPHr, shares how he retained all of his employees since beginning his software development company in 2019.

Building A Team
Company Culture
Hiring
Retention
Psychological Safety
Vimal Patel

Vimal Patel

Director of Engineering at iMORPHr

Hiring a Data Team With a Stubborn Manager

24 May

Liz Henderson, an Executive consultant at Capgemini, shares her experience hiring a data team with a manager who was difficult to work with.

Managing Up
Building A Team
Conflict Solving
Hiring
Data Team
Liz Henderson

Liz Henderson

Executive consultant at Capgemini

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.