How are product teams approaching remote work and collaboration in 2021?
Lightning feature requests reverberated through the halls in the early days at Sprout Social, as PMs and salespeople crossed paths:
“Hey Arnita, I was just talking to Acme Co. and they wanted features X, Y and Z!”
As Director of Product for the popular social media management platform, Arnita Hayden was charged with listening for inputs like these and using them to make complex feature prioritization decisions. Meanwhile, the inboxes of product managers on her team filled up with emails from marketing:
“Hey, I got a comment on our blog post saying a customer wanted X and Z.”
And the company’s social team collected so much product feedback by engaging with customers and community that they’d started a spreadsheet to consolidate it all. Hayden also had feedback of her own she’d collected from sending out surveys to trial users, but nowhere to analyze the results. What she really needed was a holistic view that spanned all of these sources of user inputs so she could spot trends and see what was getting requested the most.
Hayden tried a number of tools for feature idea management and roadmapping but found them overly complicated and with too little emphasis on making sense of user feedback. When she found Productboard, she immediately recognized its Research board could address her need to centralize user feedback.
“Just having all our user research and feedback in one place is a huge time-saver for us… across the team, this saves hours of effort every day.”
Today, Productboard helps Hayden route incoming user feedback to the right PMs, but she still reads every piece of it (typically 50 a day) — something that would have been impossible when feedback was flooding in through so many channels. Monitoring a single stream of incoming feedback helps Hayden keep a pulse on what users are asking for. It offers peace of mind because she knows no critical feedback is falling through the cracks.
Meanwhile, Productboard helps the team act on the feedback. Its User impact score quantifies the features most likely to impact users based on what needs they’ve expressed and how important they are. This is a key factor in helping team Sprout decide what to build next.
While aggregating feedback was top priority for Hayden, as her team started loading all of their feedback into Productboard, they ended up discovering another need altogether: offering more company-wide transparency into the product team’s plans.
“With Productboard, we were asking marketing and sales to be partners in the process of submitting user insights we could use for prioritization, but if they were going to contribute all this feedback, it couldn’t just be a black hole… they needed to see the output. There had to be some incentive for people to keep submitting feedback. We addressed this by using Productboard to make our roadmap more accessible for internal teams.”
The Sprout product team realized Productboard could help them build a roadmap and share it with marketing and sales to keep them updated on the direction the product was headed. In this way, Hayden suggests, Productboard isn’t just for the product team, it’s a hub for all things product that benefits the entire organization.
As Hayden points out, there are finally some solutions on the market to help product teams manage feature backlogs, strategic planning, and roadmapping, but not all product tools are created equal. Many are complicated to use, or force you to manage your product in a particular way.
Hayden also appreciated team Productboard’s dedication to dogfooding their own product and collaborating with the product community they serve:
“The team at Productboard practices what they preach. They’re highly responsive in terms of collecting feedback, working on features that matter to our team and checking in with us throughout the design process.”
By adopting Productboard, Sprout Social has found a like-minded partner in its customer-centric approach to building a platform that customers love to use.
productboard is the all-in-one product management platform that helps teams understand what users need, prioritize what to build next, and earn buy-in for their roadmaps. Productboard is the product management solution of choice at modern, user-centered companies like Sprout Social — organizations with passionate teams dedicated to making products that matter.
Sprout Social offers social media management, analytics and advocacy solutions for leading agencies and brands, including Hyatt, GrubHub, Microsoft, Uber and Zendesk. Available via web browser, iOS and Android apps, Sprout’s engagement platform enables brands to more effectively communicate on social channels, collaborate across teams and provide an exceptional customer experience. Bambu by Sprout Social, a platform for advocacy, empowers employees to share curated content across their social networks to further amplify a brand’s reach and engagement.
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