In itnig’s Podcast #26 Bernat Farrero, CEO at itnig and César Migueláñez, Product Director at Factorial, talk with Pol Narbona, Product Owner at Typeform about Product Management.

Pol shares his story with us: How he arrived at Typeform, how he started out as a Product Owner and gives us a little overview on how he works with two road maps — Discovery & Delivery — in Product Management. For the whole talk you can view this video on the Dual Track Agile methodology:

At itnig every Friday we sit down to talk with interesting people whom we meet throughout the week and we make a podcast (in Spanish) out of our conversations. You can listen to it on iTunes, subscribe to our channel on Youtube or enjoy it through iVoox.

https://upscri.be/5c88ff/

First of all, we ask him to situate us and give us a bit of context before we enter in detail into his career path.

What is Typeform?

Typeform is a software for online data collection: forms, surveys, register forms — converting a bureaucratic thing into a conversation. But this is probably just the boring explanation of the produc t— we are really strong in design and user interaction.

How did you arrive at Typeform?

I am from Barcelona and started to study here but then I had the chance to go to the US with a sport’s internship. In the 3rd year at uni I was doing some market research and needed to create a survey, I used Typeform and when I shared the survey the respondents were really surprised. I was studying Business & Tech and when I was finishing uni I started to look for jobs all over Europe. Actually I think Typeform was the only company in Barcelona I applied for. As they did not have any open positions in the Product team I started as Data Analyst, as part of the Customer Success team. Here I came to understand user behavior and I started seeing how the product team works. After a while and a restructuring of the teams, I applied internally for product owner position and here I am now.

I finished my university studies and started working at Typeform a year and a half ago. At that time I was employee #90 if you will and now, 1.5 years later we are about 180 people in the team. I think this gives a good impression of our rapid growth.


How do you work at Typeform in Product Management?

At Typeform we separate ourselves into different product teams, distributed along the User Journey:

  • Discover (top of the funnel, acquisition, public sites)
  • Subscribe (user subscription, demo environment to try product)
  • Conclude (results based work, e.g.integration with partners)

In the Conclude team for example we work in different colonies with Designers, UX, Developers, QA and Product Owners. The colonies give us the info that people working in this colony are focussed on this part of the user journey.

These colonies are not hermetic, we switch between teams, actually it is pretty common for developers to be working on different parts of the funnel from time to time. This allows us to divide the product up in different parts and assign an objetive and metric to each of them.

However, we are changing this again as we discovered that there are lot of dependencies. For example: We wanted to create a user journey for a specific persona but if other teams are working on other priorities there are dependencies that arise. Now we are going for a more horizontal approach to have more context at the moment of working together.

And you said you use Dual Track Agile as work methodology?

Yes, we do Discovery & Delivery in parallel. While the team works on delivery of a tested feature, I can dedicate myself to identify new opportunities that come later.

In general, throughout all teams we work in 2 weeks sprints and with Scrum. We have seen that these are compatible with the Discovery & Delivery Agile roadmap.

If you are interested in finding out more about his work methodology at Typeform, we encourage you to listen to and watch his talk at itnig as well.


Listen to our podcast to learn more about Product Management at Typeform and Pol’s experiences with Discovery & Delivery. Learn more in this Podcast in Spanish on our Youtube channel, listen to it on iTunes or enjoy it through iVoox and subscribe to our newsletter to stay always up to date.


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T.

The new time and attendance law will kill innovation in Spain and Europe

Simple solutions or “one fits all” policies are easy to market by populist governments but they are sometimes at the expense of certain sectors and their people. This time the affected party is innovation and value added services, to a point that puts in jeopardy our (already weak) spot in the global competitiveness landscape.

I’ve always told my teams that I do not hire their time, but rather their talent and potential: their brains, their energy and passion and their willing to make a difference and impact our clients and the world through them. Innovative companies try to get in existing markets and solve things in complete different ways, some go as far as creating new markets from scratch. They all have in common that their mission is extremely hard, sometimes impossible (thus most fail along the way). The key for their success is how they manage to convince their teams that everything they do is not a job, but a religion. They are changing the world and that is something worth spending time and making history.

I can tell if somebody is motivated by their job by looking at their eyes while they talk about their challenges and ideas. Best people don’t work, they play. They make their challenges their hobbies. I’ve had many conversations at 1 am in the office, after some beers and sushi, before even realizing what time it is. Only when a job makes this kind of conditions happen, the wheel of significant value creation really stirs and great things come from it.

It is very hard to create a culture in which people feel so empowered that they are capable of anything. In my experience, it helps granting absolute flexibility. I don’t remember the last time I approved vacations to my team, or I paid attention to their schedules, or the days in which they worked from home or the office. This is not the kind of conversations I want to have with them. My relationship with my team is based on trust, and it is based on one single (often repetitive) conversation: how can we do more and better, how can we grow faster, how can we raise the bar. Little it matters to me whether they contribute to this questions from the beach in Canary Islands or spending many hours in the office.

However, the government today decided that it is a great idea in the 21th century that all companies like ours should make everybody clock in and clock out by law. I’m now obliged to add people’s time and attendance into our conversation. We now have to treat all jobs like production lines in factories (amidst the era of hyper automation and robotization). They go as far as having us registering accurate pauses for lunch. Unfortunately they don’t include how should we manage the time spent in the chill-out area, or when having long coffees in the outside terrace, or spending the afternoon in ping pong championships. Should we clock-in and clock-out every time we do that too?

When I travel I always get asked how is the Spanish ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation developing, I always defend our potential to become a leading actor in science and technology,  besides our current reputation for tapas, toros and siesta. We previously analysed the many initiatives taking place in the city of Barcelona. But my question is: is there anybody in the government actually helping us to make this happen?

The new law will come to place the next 12th of May. At Factorial we developed a free feature, so companies can instantly become compliant with the law. Interestingly enough, almost immediately after launching this feature people started developing tools using our API to automate clocking or connecting it with Slack and other interfaces. It looks like after all there will always be people willing to work on relevant things and not waste their energy in bureaucratic traps.

PD: You can find more information about the law in this article.