Inside ABOUT YOU
Get to know our growing family. Follow our Inside ABOUT YOU blog series and catch a brief glimpse of the people behind Germany’s most exciting e-commerce project!
Vol. 3: Lisa — Product Lead, EDITED
Introduce yourself and tell us a little about your history at ABOUT YOU.
My name is Lisa. I’ve been with ABOUT YOU for roughly two years. Previously I was a project manager for the ABOUT YOU Shop and also worked on some cross department projects. As a PM I was supporting the Product Lead of the shop — coordinating with stakeholders and working closely with the development team. Recently, I moved to the position of Product Lead for the EDITED shop.
What is your current role?
In my current role, the main focus is on developing a roadmap for the product, together with top management. I break down that roadmap into a prioritized backlog, introduce tasks to the team, and make sure that they can focus on continuously improving our product.
What, in your opinion, are the most important qualities of a PM / PL?
I think one of the most important qualities is having a clear set of ideas about where you want to go with the product, always keeping in mind how you will prioritize features from a business value and customer oriented perspective.
Additionally, I believe in always being on the lookout for potential improvements, suggestions, and next steps for the product that will keep us ahead of the competition. This applies not only to the product itself, but also the team, as far as processes and making sure they are working efficiently. We have Lean Process Managers who are very helpful in guiding the development of our team processes. We sit together with them nearly every week, evaluate how we’re working, and decide on things such as whether to work with Kanban or Scrum. I think this is good, and important to allowing us to remain flexible, because the whole environment here can change a lot! Every week there’s something new, so adaptability and maintaining your focus while knowing what’s happening around you is incredibly important. It can be a challenge to prioritize competing requests, but decisions are made here transparently and quickly. Clear communication with stakeholders is valuable, as it helps to set the correct expectations with regard to timelines or delivery of a certain feature.
A final point on helpful qualities for a PM or PL to possess — good stakeholder management skills — being able to work cross-team is necessary in order to make a product successful in the end. For example, I work regularly with the Marketing teams on projecting a brand our customers can recognize and identify with.
Can you walk me through a typical day in your job?
Well, there’s not really any such thing as a typical day (*laughs*), but what I usually do in the morning is check on the sales reporting from the last day, ensuring everything in the shop is up and running as it should. Conversions are a great data point for determining functionality, in addition to the more detailed types of monitoring we do.
Mid-morning we have our standup meeting with our dev and project management teams, discuss what was achieved the previous day, and what they plan to achieve on the current day. This is important for me in seeing whether there are any blockers for the team and if I need to help them solve an issue. I also need to see how they’re proceeding with the list of tasks, and if we’ll meet the deadlines we have committed to with the stakeholders.
Aside from that, each day is different. Sometimes it’s quiet and you can take that time to plan new features that you agreed upon with other stakeholders to be the next steps for your product. So for example, I’ll sit down with the design team to get the frontend visual components drawn up, discuss with the tech lead of my team to see how we’ll implement it, and then come together as a team to write and plan the features. But, some days there’s lots of bugs and critical things happening around us, so I’ll work very closely with the team to ensure they have all the support they need to solve issues as quickly as possible.
What do you find most exciting about your current role?
It’s great that I can bring my own ideas to the table, put them into practice and make decisions that have measurable impact. I also enjoy that every day, I can come to work in the morning and not know what’s going to happen with the each passing hour. There are always new projects or topics that come up.
Most importantly, I work with a really great and motivated team, coming from a variety of backgrounds. I have colleagues with a tech background, ones who studied fashion management, or business for example. They’re all able to provide unique and individual perspectives in relation to the work we’re doing.
How did you come into the e-commerce world?
I’d actually been interested in e-commerce for awhile. During my studies I set up an online shop and interned at a different e-commerce company, so moving toward a career in the industry was a logical step for me, thus I applied at ABOUT YOU.
What’s the most exciting project or feature you’ve worked on in the company?
The first project I worked on as Product Lead for EDITED was a relaunch of the shop. This was challenging because I was planning it being completely new to the project. This however, was also an advantage because I was able to start from scratch with a fresh view. It was really exciting because we shifted the focus of the shop from selling mostly other brands as a retailer, to primarily selling our own brand — EDITED THE LABEL. So, I worked closely with the marketing team to create a shop that is purely representing our brand.
Within 3 months we developed the complete relaunch of our Desktop and Mobile versions, as well as the App. This was a great opportunity to create a consistent UI/UX for all devices. At the same time, we stuck to the MVP approach to make sure we could achieve the agreed feature set in a limited amount of time.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of this job for you?
It’s always great when I meet someone outside the office who isn’t a colleague. I’ll tell them where I work and they often have lots of nice things to say about the site and their experiences with our products — It’s a really good feeling.
Long before you ventured into the e-commerce world, what did you imagine yourself doing when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian, which I thought would be a great idea…until I realized I can’t look at blood (*laughs*).
Are you interested in working with the EDITED team?