Cloudinary is a cloud-based media management platform with a mission to help companies unleash the full potential of their media to create the most engaging visual experiences. They help companies manage and optimize images, videos, and other media for delivery to every channel and device.
Fully bootstrapped, it has seen rapid organic growth, and now serves 700,000 users and more than 7,000 companies across the world. According to Zvika Moretzky, Senior Director of Product Management at Cloudinary, an important factor in Cloudinary’s rise is its unique culture of transparency and openness in the company, where every employee can make their voice heard.
The challenges facing Cloudinary
When Zvika joined the company a year and a half ago, the product team was looking for a way to extend this openness to their product management processes. At that time, prioritization and roadmapping was done in siloed Excel files or PowerPoint slides that were difficult to maintain and share.
The organization also relied heavily on Jira, to intake customer issues and requests submitted as Jira tickets by support and customer success, and to execute on what they’d decided to work on.
But what about everything in between? The product manager’s job is ultimately to decide what’s important, and what’s not, and to prioritize with the help of a big picture understanding of where the product is headed.
Above all, that’s what the product team was missing — visibility and a coherent understanding of what each of the product managers was doing.
“Everything in Jira is about execution, R&D, very fine details. So to get a coherent picture from the product perspective — to really understand what the product management org is doing… that’s priceless, and I wouldn’t have another way to get that without productboard.”
How Cloudinary benefits from productboard
When Cloudinary’s product team began adopting productboard, they started with the problem they felt was most pressing at the time — refining their planning process.
With a growing number of product teams, they needed to lay out a clear high-level roadmap, understand what they wanted to achieve, and prioritize accordingly.
They took the opportunity to start this exercise from a clean slate. They wanted to rise above the granular delivery tasks they stored in Jira and appreciated that productboard was designed to help them do that.
“When we found productboard, we weren’t looking for another complicated tool with a lot of features. We wanted a lean and friendly tool that anyone could pick up and begin using right away.”
Now productboard is the main tool used by product managers at Cloudinary. Everything related to the roadmap is managed within productboard. In addition to facilitating quarterly planning, it helps them track features as they progress through the entire lifecycle, from candidate, through discovery, to delivery. They can see what everyone is working on and where their products are headed next.
In time, Cloudinary’s product teams adopted productboard’s Insights board and Portal as well, re-establishing their process for intaking product ideas, requests, and feedback from stakeholders. In the spirit of transparency and openness, all Cloudinary employees can log in productboard as contributors. Customer success managers and all other customer-facing teams now summarize customer requests using insights, and even rank their top requests in dedicated release planning boards, thus sharing their unique perspective with the makers and taking an active part in the quarterly collaborative prioritization exercise. By capturing customer requests in productboard rather than Jira, stakeholders have a much clearer view of how these inputs are acted upon.
“Now we have one source of truth on where everything we’re working on for the product stands.”
The company also received praise from customers for openly and transparently sharing with them the roadmap items the product team is contemplating via productboard’s Portal, now embedded in the Cloudinary website.
What’s next for Cloudinary
Thanks to their broad adoption of productboard, each product team can now get a bird’s eye view of everything they are working on. They can zero in on a feature to see all the user insights associated with it. And they can finally get a comprehensive picture of what the entire product organization is up to.
Above all, the culture of transparency that fueled Cloudinary’s rise is now on full display in the product organization. The product team can now focus on reaching new heights.
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