As Lead Product Manager on the T-Mobile Consumer & LOB Product & Technology team, I lead the development effort from concept to launch for deploying a new mobile application across our android platform. For pre, intra and post launch, my primary responsibilities included collaborating with business, design, ux research, marketing, strategy, go-to-market, pr, brand, and engineering stakeholders. Focused on prioritizing and developing the MVP roadmap, delivering user stories, acceptance criteria, functional and technical specifications. I also worked closely with engineering and QA to ensure their tasks were unblocked in each development cycle.
The problem was to launch this product in less than 6 months with limited resources. While the financial potential was clear, the idea was risky because there was very limited information about whether our customer base would value it. This was amplified by the fact that our business, marketing, product, and executive team had strong opinions in mind for what the mobile app should be backed by very limited data. As with any big initiative, there was a lot of conflict between stakeholders and even doubt for the product to be a success or even launch. As the product lead, my job was to reduce uncertainty, get everyone bought in, determine product market fit, and get it out to the market to test and learn as soon as possible. I used lean product development methods to overcome this challenge and form the basis of what was then used to scale up a team to build out our MVP.
First step was figuring out who our target customers were. Working at a bigger company, it’s a blessing and a curse. There are already tens of millions of customers, so the expectations of scale can lead the team to build a product that’s for “everybody” that really ends up being for nobody. On the other hand, there is a lot of market research on hand which allows you to have much greater certainty than when building a product for a startup. I dug deeper into understanding who our customers were out of the addressable market and what the common themes of needs were with the usage of their device. I identified two target customer segments that made up the majority of the base and assigned them two personas.
Identified Underserved Needs
Each of the personas had their own set of needs and attributes so I was looking for the least common denominator from both. Leveraging the market research dataset, I looked for lift to discern the top 4 most unique yet important use cases of these personas. The 0 time to access our entertainment center because it’s one swipe left of the home screen would be the key differentiator to redefine the satisfaction scale of our offering.
Defined Value Proposition
I crafted the MVP hypothesis document which detailed the value proposition and feature set while gathering additional requirements from our cross functional stakeholders. An integral part was communicating the final version to all business stakeholders and achieving leadership buy in before beginning to test it.
Designed Feature Set
Using the defined use cases and features, I produced mockups and description of user flows and passed them through feedback and approval with our director of design to prototype the end to end experience so we could test with customers as quickly as possible.
Prototyped and Tested UX with Design Team
Working with UX research, we tested our prototype with our target customer base. With customer feedback of the designed solution, we were able to validate value proposition, discern and prioritize top desired user goals and features tied to strategic business goals for our product achieving high confidence with stakeholders.
- Built consensus amongst our stakeholders on the short, mid, and long term roadmap
- Launched quality minimal viable product before the expected timeframe (early data showed steady growth and usage, along with the expected financial impact)
- Post launch, there was a significant increase in actual sales for the specific devices our product deployed on.