We speak to Eddie and take a look at how a product team is set up, how it functions and what makes a good Product Manager.
How the Product Management team is set up
Eddie heads up the department, which is set up of a team of Product Managers and Analysts and the Web Technologies development team comprising of Web Developers & Testers. The team is looking to grow this year to include Testers and more Product Managers, specifically at Graduate levels.
With Products being central to the Quint Group, Eddie and the team collaborate with all areas of the business. They work especially closely with the tech team based in China, who are responsible for the technical development of the products.
How does the team work?
The team works in a very fast-paced and dynamic way. They have roadmaps for each individual product as well as an overall one for all Quint products. Each roadmap spans two months, as the team works in such an agile and iterative manner, Eddie confirms “anything longer than that just wouldn’t work for us.”
“One of the first things I did at Quint, was to buy two large white-boards for the team to work in an Agile way with Kanban boards, which are updated daily. We also use project management software, such as Trello to track progress and set timelines.”
The Web Technologies team also run weekly development sprints (operating under a points system), which is part of the scrum methodology.
What is a Product Manager is responsible for?
“I refer to Product Managers as mini-CEOs – entirely responsible for their products, from conception through to delivery, whilst maintaining the product’s vision throughout” says Eddie, “they’re responsible for product development, performance, customer experience & insight, managing all stakeholders & timeframes, prioritising requests as well as being the company’s expert and ‘go-to’ person for that product.”
What are the core skills that make a good Product Manager?
“For Quint, sound technical knowledge is really important as well as a solid commercial foundation and an understanding of what could impact the P&L. All Product Managers need to have excellent prioritisation, leadership, organisation and communication skills – they deal with a variety of teams and stakeholders, and have to set as well as manage expectations for all levels within the business. It’s a wide-ranging job, which attracts top candidates with a broad skillset and a range of personal attributes”.
A ‘typical day’ in the life of the Quint Product Management team
The day always begins with a ‘stand-up’ meeting to discuss the progress made the previous day and any issues that need addressing. The meeting is stationed around the main Kanban board, so the coming day’s priorities and tasks can be arranged.
Once priorities are sorted, tickets for development then need to be raised. This isn’t usually a quick process, with Eddie and the team meeting multiple stakeholders in order to gain clear requirements and setting a priority status for each.
Following this, the team get on with their respective tasks; design, development, analysis and management. Eddie likes to have a couple of ‘break-out’ sessions each week, where the team will get together to problem solve as well as brainstorm new ideas. “It’s important to encourage creativity and carve out time for such activities, especially within the FinTech industry, which is so fast-paced and innovative.”
The Quint Product Life Cycle
The whole life cycle of the Product is managed by the relevant Product Manager, from ideation, strategy, design, development and launch, through to user testing, customer insight and commercial reporting.
“After the design phase, we either make prototypes or create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for target-user testing or a soft-launch. An MVP is a product that is developed to its base requirements while being functional. It can go to market to gain real customer data/insight as to how it’s being used and how it performs to influence how it should be further developed.”
What are Quint’s most successful products?
“When creating a product, we take a strategic approach. We look to where customer demand isn’t met, and what we can develop to meet that demand. Some of our most well-known products to do this are the Monevo platform (formerly Pingtree) and our Membership Services (Credit Angel, Credit Perfect). Our MoneyGuru product, which is launching in June, is set to be the UK’s most innovative and relevant Credit and Lending price comparison service, it’s a product we’re all really proud of.”