Back to inside Receeve

How our product team works

By Manoj Sundaram
Tuesday, October 12 2021

#TechInsiders

startup

receeve’s products are meant to disrupt the collections industry. It is our primary focus to develop state of the art technology that supports our clients needs from end-to-end as they work to recover more debt in their collections strategy.

The power of our product comes not only from our Cloud-Native, AI and Machine Learning technology embedded with no-code easy to use features but it also comes from the innovation led by our product team who continually strive to improve and meet the needs of our clients as well as market standards.

Our core product revolves around a dynamic product vision. It is not carved in stone. This agile work consistency has been feasible because of the orchestrated connection of all teams that includes engineering, testing, design, sales, marketing, operations and customer success, all led by our Product Team.

Presenting the Team

Head of Product, Pau Vicedo, is supported by two Product Owners along with our UX/UI Designer and Product Marketer.

The team: Manoj Sundaram (Product Owner), Ricardo Santos (UX/UI Enterprise Specialist), Pau Vicedo (Head of Product)

The team: Manoj Sundaram (Product Owner), Ricardo Santos (UX/UI Enterprise Specialist), Pau Vicedo (Head of Product)

receeve’s product has been divided into two domains – Operational and Asset Management. Operational Management looks over the operational functionalities of collections that are handled by our clients. It also encompases the customer relationship management (CRM) segment of our product, such as handling Accounts, Workflows, Strategies, Operational Dashboards, etc.

Asset Management, on the other hand, focuses more on the collections that are being handled by our clients’ partners. It also overlooks the product integrations such as payment providers, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence Data module, Partners Management and the entire data layer underneath.

How do we work and collaborate with others?

Like all newly-founded companies and startups, receeve follows the agile methodology. However, we apply a tailored Shape-up method as established by Basecamp. Unlike sprints which usually take 1-2 weeks, our Shape-up method entails a longer feature development cycle of 6 weeks which gives our Engineering team the chance to complete the whole project from end-to-end without the stress of watching the clock and calendar. We also have a cool-down period after every development cycle.

And before each cycle, the product team works on product pitches which offer the possibility of bringing out a new innovative feature or an update to an existing feature(s). A pitch comprises of an idea to be implemented along with the following details:

  • Problem statement
  • Proposed idea
  • Rabbit holes or limitations
  • Wireframes or Fat-marker sketches
  • Scope of Work

The pitch should include necessary data to validate the need for that pitch, which also helps at the decision-making stage.

These potential pitches are then sent to a betting table which involves decision-making stakeholders to bet on what projects will be tackled. The pitch with the highest number bets then moves into the development cycle. The selected pitch will then become a feature or an update to an existing feature.

The engineering team uses the cool-down period (2 weeks) to fix any bugs and to improve user experience and the user interface (UX/UI). 

Simultaneously to this, our product team works on new pitches during the development cycle. And during the cool-down period, a pitch is bet on to be moved in an established time frame, so that it can be developed in the following development cycle by the engineers.

This working system helps us ensure a clean and continuous delivery that increases the value of the product toward our clients and provides a platform for all employees to come up with good ideas in the form of pitches.

Key aspects of a successful Product Team

Our product team has a very well organised process, but who doesn’t? (sarcasitc eyes rolling) However, our product team is successful because they own the product from end-to-end and are in sync with the product strategy and vision which supports our clients from end-to-end. We will also include the following pointers to make sure the product development and management is aligned and on cue:

  • Planning a clear Product Roadmap and aligning it with everyone in the company.
  • Documenting every detail of our product development; before and after feature implementation.
  • Managing our stakeholders into consideration. 
  • We don’t panic. We analyse everything and take action accordingly.
  • We communicate and respect asynchronous work.
  • We admire decision-making skills, even if it turns out to be incorrect, it is always a learning for the team.
  • We plan the KPIs for the team but more importantly for our product and build our vision and strategy around them.
  • New ideas are always welcomed (in the form of pitches).

Remote work aiding to Product Development

Most of the time when working remotely we tend to over-communicate and over-explain a simple idea so much so that it confuses or complicates things for our peers and other teams in the company.

Sometimes, when we realize there is over-communication, we just stop the communication process and turn to our own processes in order to find the right balance. Our product process acts as a guidance or path to provide the right information and direct it to our teams at the right time using the right channels. 

The flexibility in our processes allows us to alter changes immediately. We also deliver any product update in our processes to our colleagues in company meetings or in open forums.

Apart from the product processes, we have regular retrospective meetings in order to examine any possible alterations in our process and also working styles, working behaviours and any other concerns that might affect our work directly.

But on top of the business and product talks, we also do our very best to make sure we have product coffee and beer breaks (after work hours) during the week. This time to talk openly and to speak about anything outside of work just to get to know each other better.

Conclusion

Sometimes, in order to build a great product you don’t need to always add on brand new features, rather you can also update the old or remove the unnecessary.

As a seasoned product team, we don’t just focus on the solutions but also the problems from a holistic point of view. Might sound like a no-brainer, though through our goals and our team mission, we dig deep to fully understand the problem rather than throw just any old solution at our clients. And we do this using various questionnaires that allow us to completely understand where our client needs and compare those needs with the current market trends. In the end we’re able to provide a smart yet simplistic solution that can be used by anyone in a collections organisation.

At the end of the day we encourage our team members, both product or company wide, to be creative, to be self-organised, and to always strive to learn – regardless of failure. This is our product team motto.

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