March 22, 2022

What is it like working with 3Pillar’s product people?

The documents are signed, and now, it’s time to start the engagement. What will your day to day look like working with 3Pillar product people? Our product team will work with you to find the best work style: meeting cadences, communication tools, and approval workflows. The key to all of these is collaboration. We are here to support you and guide you to success. We’re known for our adaptive product lifecycle management approach. We rely heavily on agile ceremonies like daily stand-ups, grooming, planning, and retrospectives. However, each engagement is different, so we’ll find the right blend of collaboration to ensure we reach your product goals.

To start, our product managers will take in information from your team. They will ask you a lot of questions to help understand where you’re at and what your product goals are. Once we’re familiar with your product, we will take you through a Product Mindset session to get your team acquainted with our approach to digital product delivery. Often, we find that the decision makers in the sales calls are not the same people our product people work with day-to-day, so it’s important each team feels they have a good understanding of where the other team is, then we’ll dive into the deep product work.

What do we mean by “Deep Product Work”? This depends on where your digital product journey is starting. We cover all disciplines to build a better product; see our information on the Product Development Cycle to learn more. This could be competitive and gap analysis, user research, stakeholder management, or product strategy— just to name a few. As your product journey continues, you’ll have regular touchpoints with the entire team (delivery management meetings and retrospectives) to ensure you are getting what you need from the engagement.

We cover all disciplines so you have a better product.

Where are you in the product development cycle? Do you have an idea, are halfway to launch, or have a 10-year-old product? In any of these cases, 3Pillar can help you build the right product, the right way, while minimizing time to value. We specialize in user research to ensure we have the best product-market fit before we invest in building your product. If you are early in the process and just ideating, we can help validate and do research and market analysis to find the right product to build. If you have an existing product with low engagement, we can do competitive analysis and user research to provide solutions to improve your product for your users. Our solutions, product, delivery, and UX experts have vast experience and a passion for their crafts to ensure we can get your product-market fit.

Retrospectives make better outcomes

At 3Pillar Global, we strive for continuous improvement. To achieve this, retrospectives are part of our work. From the top at 3Pillar, our CEO leads with humility. This means being able to admit when you’re wrong and deliver feedback with compassion. The retrospective is where this takes place. We look at what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve. We do these internally, as well as with our clients, to ensure open communication between all team members. Retrospectives are held after each sprint, usually every 2 weeks, and have anonymous feedback to be sure everyone has the opportunity to share their concerns. We also hold intrinsic dignity in high regard, so all our team members are well equipped to deliver difficult feedback. At the end of the retrospective, each action item has a party responsible to ensure improvements are implemented to increase velocity across development, product, and UX. This helps to achieve better outcomes because we are regularly checking in to confirm we are working in the most efficient way. If we find the business outcomes are not clear enough to guide our teams, we will work with the business to assure our team is empowered to build the right product the right way.

A Happy Marriage – Product Management and User Experience

To have a successful digital product, it is imperative that product and user experience are aligned. At 3Pillar, we rely heavily on the relationship between these two crafts to make products that users love, and that ultimately increase revenue for our clients. At 3Pillar, product and UX live under the same department head because we understand how closely these two disciplines interact. We have regular CoP (Community of Practice) meetings where the two departments get together to discuss what’s working and what’s not on a specific topic in the field, and how we can support one another.

A product manager’s core function is to get to know their users. UX research helps our product managers do that, while incorporating the business’ goals into the product. User experience research is a full-time role, and while PM’s will speak to users, conducting true user-focused research is not always possible for the PM. Furthermore, there is not always full agreement in user feedback and the company’s business goals. This happens when a company is not product focused and has created business goals before speaking with their customers to understand their true problems that the product can solve. By having a respectful and mutual understanding for each other, we are able to get to feature definitions that both helps the company grow and improve the user’s experience.

Special thanks to these members of FORCE, 3Pillar’s expert network, for their contributions to this article.

FORCE is 3Pillar Global’s Thought Leadership Team comprised of technologists and industry experts offering their knowledge on important trends and topics in digital product development.