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Tray.io
Company Founded

2012

Location

North America

“Productboard is now the default thing to do when you have feedback to give to the product team at Tray.io.”

Bella Renney Head of Product

No one buys software anymore, they build stacks. In 2020, Gartner forecasts that companies will spend more than a quarter of a trillion dollars on SaaS applications. But customers don’t have time or resources to throw at the integration friction that comes with building stacks. 

Winning deals, differentiation, product ‘stickiness’, and customer retention hinges on how effectively and easily it is to integrate with other tools. Customers keep products with integration solutions, not headaches.  

Tray.io provides valuable automation APIs that integrate applications in a customer’s cloud stack to work in real time, whether that’s go-to-market systems, collaboration tools, support suite applications, or anything else they are using. With the Tray.io platform, organizations can integrate and automate nearly any process across the applications of their customer’s technology stack, from point-to-point integration to multistep workflows.

Needless to say, with so many complicated integrations to manage for their customers, Tray.io runs a very sophisticated organization. So, when they needed to keep track of their own product, they turned to productboard.

The Journey to Productboard

Just one year ago, Bella Renney, Tray.io’s Head of Product, was the only product manager and she was struggling to collect and collate all of the feedback coming in from the revenue team, sales, customer service managers, and the engineering team.

“It was an awful time,” Renney said. “My main pain point was figuring out how to collect and create some semblance of order from all that we were hearing about the product.”

Her search for the right tool to manage product feedback eventually led her to Productboard. Previously using Clubhouse to manage engineering work & delivery, Renney found that “there was a gap in the process; the engineering software was geared towards project management but not for displaying and aggregating customer insights to inform the product planning behind the engineering projects.” 

Today, Productboard has become an integral part of Tray.io’s business, with four product managers and all of their engineering managers relying on it heavily. They use Productboard to manage product feedback, plan their roadmap, and track their deliverables, timeline, features, and components.

“Productboard is now the default thing to do when you have feedback to give to the product team at Tray.io.”

Bella Renney
Head of Product

Streamlining Feedback with a Central Insights Repository 

Renney and her team use the Insights board as a central repository for consolidating all of the feedback streaming in from Slack, Intercom, and a gmail account they created for product feedback. Tray.io’s product managers also collect information in Productboard from the customer service and sales teams so they can understand the challenges customers are facing.

“Insights has been very helpful when new PMs onboard. They can see the challenges customers are facing, what the revenue team is saying, and can read feedback from prospects.”

Bella Renney
Head of Product

Notes that are tagged with specific categories—such as competitors or various Tray.io products—are delivered to different product managers’ inboxes, helping the appropriate team member surface relevant insights. “This helps us make sure the right feedback goes to the right person,” said Renney.

The product team also uses Insights to help them prioritize the features that will best address user needs. “They tag features that they’re building, connect the Insights to those features, and map the value of the features compared to how complex they would be to build, which helps them have discussions with the engineers and decide what to focus on,” Renney explained. This structure helps the team see which user need each feature addresses and keeps the backlog manageable and organized.

In addition, Insights serves as a database with powerful search functionality. For each feature idea, the team can see everyone who needs it, see exactly what they said about it, and how important it is to them. This allows them to fine tune their release plans and monitor the progress of each feature all the way through launch. 

“When the design team looks at a redesign or research for a new project, they might spend a few hours reading in Insights to see how customers use that functionality today.”

Bella Renney
Head of Product

For Tray.io, Productboard facilitates the conversation between product managers and the engineering team and designers, making product decisions a streamlined process. They can filter for the features that align with their strategy, which helps them decide what to build next. Once they make a decision, product managers change the status of features in Productboard to show what has been prioritized and why, as well as the timeframe of new releases and sprints.   

From Roadmap Mystery to Total Visibility

Before Productboard, Tray.io’s roadmap was a mystery for anyone outside of the product team. There was no visibility into upcoming feature releases, including for the executive team. This made planning difficult across the organization, and led to a lot of extra work for Renney and her team. “We have a big product portfolio for a company of our size, with different roadmaps for each thing, and sometimes new features can live on different roadmaps. It was difficult to keep track of before Productboard,” she said.

With Productboard, the Tray.io team was able to create, share, and update their roadmaps in one place.  They currently have four different Portals in Productboard, which surface the relevant roadmap features for each team. “Different people look at different Portals depending on their needs and relevance,” Renney explained. “This shows different teams what’s coming. The Portal reflects the status of any feature, so team members can stay updated and plan accordingly.” 

When they’re ready to share their plan, the team can then switch to the Roadmap board for an auto-generated visualization of their upcoming releases. This lets them showcase Tray.io’s roadmap to external stakeholders, and in the case of the business development team, to share the roadmap with customers.

“Everyone at the company now knows to look at the Portal for roadmaps. Our CTO loves looking at the Portal,” Renney said. “The executive team can upvote and submit comments on the roadmap during different times of the year.”

When it comes to their backend architecture, Tray.io also uses Productboard to prioritize development projects, which often require multiple phases over longer periods of time. “The technical team doesn’t have a PM; they have more strategic engineering managers. We used to manage their projects in Notion, but it was spread out in too many different places. We consolidated that in Productboard,” Renney explained.

Once a new feature has been prioritized, Renney and her team write up the technical implementation and user stories, and give those along with the background research to their engineering team so they have the resources and context they need all in one place. The Tray.io team integrated Productboard with Jira for pushing features through to development and for getting status updates back from the engineers.

“When the design team looks at a redesign or research for a new project, Productboard is where we do the thinking and prioritization, not our technical specifications (we use Jira for that).”

Bella Renney
Head of Product

As Renney and her team continue to understand what integrations Tray.io’s users most immediately need, Productboard helps them validate ideas by collecting uploads and feedback, prioritize what to build next, share what’s planned in the roadmap, and celebrate what they’ve launched. The organization has come a long way since Renney was the only product manager, drowning in feedback, to now having a single source of truth that stakeholders across the company can use to . 

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