A little love from our customer

Brainmates

Arcadier, an e-commerce SaaS marketplace builder based in Singapore, originally came to a Brainmates Product Management course in Singapore, before engaging us for further specialised workplace training.

We spoke with Chief Technology Officer, Paul Cascun to talk about how in-house Product Management training changed the game.

“When we attended the public Product Management course here in Singapore with Brainmates Head of Training, Nick Coster, we were early stage startup and, while we all had position titles, we were still unclear about who was responsible for what and what our process was.”

During the private training, Nick introduced a set of Product Management terminology, plus the eight-part Brainmates framework, which moves from ideation to design, to implementation, and trained the Arcadier team on design thinking and agile methodology.

“Agile doesn’t tell you to do anything that isn’t already obvious to most people,” says Paul. “But having Brainmates come in, to say “this is an accepted approach. It’s worked for other people” is powerful to hear.”

This changed attitudes and reduced inter-office emotion as everybody was trained in the same methodology and were empowered in the process.

At the end of the training, Nick was able to help the whole team realign their roles, responsibilities, priorities and reporting lines. “We noticed a significant level of improvement straight away,” says Paul.

Twelve months later, Nick returned to review what we were doing and where we were going. He discovered that meetings were happening without the right individuals present, which meant that the set process wasn’t being followed.

Arcadier and Nick together created a tree structure that illustrated different meetings and what role needed to be present in order for it to be effective. “Fundamentally, it changed the way we operate,” says Paul.

Embedding Product processes and rituals into every day

“We had a big realisation that our desire to meet our deadlines was at the expense of doing the job properly – without specific people’s involvement at critical junctures, we’re better off stopping what you are doing. Being too deadline-focused was bringing problems and rework,” says Paul.

Arcadier has redefined what roles – notably, the Product Manager, Dev team and Quality Assurance – need to present at pivotal points in the process. “We are too small a company to waste money. We’re better off not producing anything new than to forge ahead without following our own processes.”

Arcadier are using Jira and Slack, but also incorporating a short daily meeting, with triage three times a week. Crucially, if the key roles required for the meeting aren’t present, the meeting doesn’t happen.

Product Management for all processes of evolution

“For us, Brainmates have been, at various times, an instructor, coach, champion, player and referee,” says Paul. “Product Management, the way Brainmates teaches it, is invaluable and relevant for all forms of ideation, for any company that needs to go through a process of evolution.”

Regardless of the industry, business size or stage in business, Product Management workplace training, consulting or coaching can embed new processes and company culture, reboot attitudes and approaches and help unify a team.

The icing on the cake? Recently, Arcadier was chosen by the United Nations Office for Project Services’ Defeat-Non-Communicable Disease Partnership, to provide the technology to deliver cost-effective and efficient provision of essential non-communicable disease supplies to national programs in low-resource countries.

“This is one of the biggest opportunities our company has ever been exposed to,” says Paul. “And we’re delighted to say the least.”

Brainmates

Brainmates | Author

leading the product 2019