Excerpt from the Podcast — A peek into the frameworks for building great products
Sub-titles below are questions asked by Aishwarya Ashok, Product Marketing Associate from Zoho and the short phrases are answers given by Dinesh Varadharajan, Vice President of Product Management, Kissflow Inc.
Culture in the organization:
- Being a bootstrap company, we believe in the collective functioning of the organization. We have a structure known as Pods. Each pod will have a decision-maker like Product Owner, Product Manager, Frontend/Backend Developers, UX designers and so. 80% of decisions are independent to be taken by members of that Pod itself.
Learning over the years:
- Why design(UI / UX) important equally as the technical side of a product.
- How to talk to customers.
Employee — Organization relationship:
- A company is as good as people make it. The employee runs the process.
- It is like if Process is a Car. Then people(employee) drives the car.
About SaaS customers:
- Binding long term relationship with SaaS customers is important. That will result in being referred to other customers.
Managing current Corona crisis situation :
- It is more than just managing subscription. We support like we are part of each 1 of them in their journey in every aspect apart from subscription, payments.
For New Product Managers:
- A general belief is, so and so competitors are successful. In that case, their features if we copy into a product also will be successful. My advice is,
Evaluate competitors. But never copy.
- Because we don’t know why a competitor has created a feature and who is using that feature. Don’t know their thought process.
- The real workflow of a PM can be like, understand the problem (statement), and design on your own. Understanding the audience is also important. Because each product’s audience set is different. (Geographically, Infrastructure, etc.)
This is the framework followed in Kissflow. WINES framework works when you have a stable product. The reason we created this framework is that most of the features implemented in a product are only from the Sales / Customer Success team. Other team’s feature requests may get ignored which are equally important. To elaborate WINES,
- W →Winners — Leadership team — Leapfrogging competitors.
- I → Invisible — Engineering team — Non-functional background improvements like database change, increasing cache, performance, framework change,...
- N → Needs — Customer Success team — Wish list will be prepared by them and they prioritize features as well;
- E → Experience — UX team — Redesign, Refer recordings of customer meetings, and address/improve the UX flaws in the product.
- S → Sales team — Feature lists — Like if this feature did, I can close so and so $ deal (Pre-sales)
- Every release cycle, all 5 buckets will be analyzed and evenly balanced. Because a road map’s ownership is owned by all.
- Important thing is, if it is a new product or not a stable product then WINES would not work out. W takes a key role. Being strategic in nature and for long term goodness of the product, even losing 1 or 2 deals is considered OK.
- WINES or not WINES framework gives clarity on how we are operating as an organization based on products built.
- To know in deep about WINES, you can check out the blog written by Dinesh Varadharajan about the same.
Over to you
I have summarized as crisp as possible based on my learning. Listen to the 27 mins podcast for complete learning. Use this blog as a quick reference :)