Product acceleration and delivery at an integrated cloud-based startup

The Problem

An integrated software and robotics company in rapid growth mode was moving very quickly to develop a proprietary product suite and toolkit. The solution enabled an innovative approach to product fulfillment and logistics. With a multi-year product roadmap already in the works, a new market opportunity presented itself: to implement a white-labeled product suite for a strategic partner. This initiative required significant resources, product leadership, and precise project execution given the tight timelines and significance of the strategic partner’s involvement. Because the client was experiencing growing pains and limited bandwidth for new initiatives, they needed a product leader to scope, plan, and deliver this new set of products in time for a customer roadshow a few months away. 


The Approach

Given the nature of the company and task at hand, it was important to align the goals of the to-be-developed products with the client’s needs. Propeller led a two-day dedicated session with product and sales leadership to answer key questions about the strategic partner’s desired outcomes. Propeller’s goal was to add value –not friction and overhead. Propeller also needed to determine what could realistically be delivered to the partner with an acceptable level of risk, to account for constraints around time, resources, and functionality. The team documented the product vision in a story map comprised of current offerings and new functionality. Then, leveraging various prioritization techniques, Propeller guided the team through a structured session, resulting in a refined user flow consistent with MVP requirements. With the product vision in place, focus shifted to determining how to deliver within a significantly condensed timeline. Propeller worked closely with product and engineering leadership to establish a phased approach to deliver the product in components, utilizing agile principles to drive efficiencies. 

Services Provided

  • Product Management
  • Agile Leadership
  • Go-to-Market Strategy
  • Project Management

Value Delivered

Propeller quickly socialized a comprehensive project plan complete with the requirements of each product component. Included in the plan was a timeline of expected delivery, a variety of testing strategies, and a series of real-time demos, user-scripts, and agendas to drive urgency and accountability. In order to support the product’s delivery, the team implemented a series of scrum-of-scrums ceremonies across 25 distributed development making possible a new level of dialogue within the company and allowing representatives from development teams to surface issues and solve problems in real time. Propeller joined the client to deliver the product to the strategic partner, onstage at the partner’s large annual shareholder event. Guests were invited to engage and interact with the product during the event, creating delight all the way around.