The RocketChart Product Management Engine — How we’re building our SaaS

  • Elie is a full-stack software engineer
  • Marc is also a full-stack software engineer
  • I (Philippe) do growth, design and customer support
The RocketChart team
Marc “big smile” to the left, Elie “S. Jobs style” in the middle and Philippe “Blue Banana socks” to the right

Context: turning our biggest weakness into strength

The idea behind this product struck in July 2019. During the first 2 months, we focused on getting a clear picture of the pain-point by chatting with +300 business founders. Then we started to build the product. We launched the Beta in December. RocketChart was born. You can discover the complete journey in these very detailed and transparent articles, where I share how we went from SaaS idea validation in one day to Beta launch.

Fill the Product Backlog with well-defined tasks

We are not creating RocketChart, our lovely customers do. We never pull out new features of our own hat. They all come from our users because they want to be more successful using the product. Since the very beginning of our journey, we’ve tried to create a close relationship with our beloved users. It has produced a virtuous effect: they are very attached to give us feedback and insights about how they want RocketChart to evolve. This is very powerful in making sure you deliver killing features.

Get tasks prioritization right

Each company wants to deliver big-impact features for users that request less effort for the team. These are the Holy-Grail of Product Managers. To be honest, we don’t use a killing framework to identify game-changing features. The cornerstone of our product management lies in cutting down stories into the smallest piece possible and delivering the MVR. This speeds up our product engine. But I have to highlight a small trick we use to prioritize better.

Bet on momentum rather than urgency

We ran RocketChart Beta in December 2019. Early users’ feedback revealed our product was completely failing at delivering enough value. We needed to work on many improvements to get closer to a must-have product. I decided to set a deadline to release the new version: mid-February 2020. During a month and a half, we worked very hard to reach this objective. Elie and Marc were coding like crazy nights and weekends (they have a day job). And we finally released our new version 🎉

Product management is not just about tasks prioritization

Product teams rarely struggle with feature requests and product enhancement. As you know, the real challenge is prioritization. Your backlog is full of tasks: bugs and feature requests. The question is: how do you decide what to work on, and in which order? The first logical step Product Managers do is to create scoring frameworks. As you’ve read through this article, it allows you to automatically rank tasks and helps you decide what to work on.

Useful resources about Product Management

The following are some articles that helped us set our product management process. If you want to dig deeper into product management and discover how other Product Managers are dealing with product roadmaps, I recommend you to take a look 😉

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Philippe Vanderstigel

Philippe Vanderstigel

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Founder | RocketChart.co 🚀 — Cash flow management & forecasting software for startups