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Managing Employee Experience During Hyper-Growth

Innovation / Experiment
Product Team
Internal Communication
Stakeholders

6 July, 2021

Emmanuel Hosanski

Emmanuel Hosanski

Product Director at ManoMano

Emmanuel Hosanski, Product Director at Mano Mano, shares his challenges revolving around the hyper-growth of his company.

Problem

How do you evolve your product of inspiration in a hyper-growth company? Over the last few years, as we grew in shape and size, there were more people on both the product side and the business side. We organized our product team by the phase of our users' journey. As we kept growing, complexities started arriving on the PMs' side because then they had more stakeholders to handle.

It was estimated that 1 PM would have about 5 or 6 entities to manage and communicate with. Additionally, in a fast-growing company like ours, there were turnovers and new people on board in all other departments. Through great difficulty, we had to continue having a good understanding between the product and the business. That being the core problem, we had to move towards some solutions, and we had to do it fast.

Actions taken

We decided that we would align the way our products worked alongside our business. In that regard, we split the product team to limit the number of business stakeholders. For instance, instead of having one big group, we had two teams — one, working on the delivery of packages to the customers; two, dealing with the after-sales services. In that way, the delivery team would keep track of the packages reaching customers to their destination. On the other hand, the after-sales team would deal with refunds, return of products, and other customer queries. Work got divided, and life became easier for everyone in the teams.

In tune with that, it helped create a good collaboration with the head of the business functions and the group of PMs. We formed a business-product partnership, the strong bond that allowed us to align the product and the business. Moreover, it was much easier for the PMs to align with the stakeholders and deal with them over time. It was a game-changer for us in terms of product and business collaboration.

We started having meetings, which we named as the executive committee meeting. It would include the executives, the head of the business, the engineering manager, and the group PM from the product side. About 10 people were presenz, but we would make decisions that we could not in the presence of the team members. However, we did not go through systematically to put a line as to what was essential and what was not. Besides, it was beneficial to align our priorities, KPIs, and the boards. In the end, the meetings got us to where we were supposed to be in the first place.

Lessons learned

  • There is no single way of organizing a product team. I did consult other mentors outside of the company, and I was suggested not to align the business and product as we might have lost customer interest. Weighing the pros and cons, I had to test out to see what worked the best.
  • As the product team, you need to build bridges and understand what is suitable for the company. It is not always the other team’s interest that comes first, but the business goals that need to be fulfilled.
  • Communication is the key. It is interesting in large product organizations to see if there is a dotted line relationship that needs to be created between the product and the business for success from all sides of the company.

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