Boosting OKRs and Product Strategy for the Bill of Quantities (BoQ) Area of Cosuno

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The Client: Cosuno

Cosuno is a construction tech startup based in Germany. The platform is focused on managing the entire planning cycle and creating collaboration between all parties involved in the construction process. Cosuno has up to 110K qualified subcontractors in their network and helps users save time by automating manual processes- sometimes up to 60% faster.

Cosuno was founded in 2018 and has raised a total of $45.2M in funding over three rounds. Spark Capital and Avenir Growth Capital ****are the most recent investors.

The Mission: Interim Product Manager

We joined Cosuno to serve as Interim Product Managers within the (Construction) Planning Team. We were part of a team of Full Stack Developers, an Engineering Manager, and a UI/UX Designer. With the original Product Manager being assigned to another team, Product People’s Interim Product Managers came to take over.

The (Construction) Planning team is responsible for a core capability of the product, the Bill of Quantities (BoQ). This is a common document used during tendering in the construction industry. The construction contractors include all the project information, such as the materials, quantities, and items they will need, plus some room to negotiate on price.

At the beginning of the mission, we had several challenges in correctly supporting the import and conversion of the document from other tools in customers’ workflows:

  • Customers used multiple external tools during their process before Cosuno. These tools generate Bill of Quantities (BoQ) documents using various standards and levels of execution of those standards. There are also geographic-specific differences, resulting in some customers using other tools like Excel.
  • Due to these differences, it’s common that the import and conversion of the Bill of Quantities fails, does not behave correctly, and/or requires modifications and workarounds.
  • As a relative newcomer in the market, the Cosuno Bill of Quantities (BoQ) editor needed to support use cases that Cosuno customers are familiar with from other tools. This functionality did not yet exist in the Cosuno Bill of Quantities (BoQ) editor, which caused friction.

In addition, we had a side mission related to ticket handover and delivery within the team. We identified several improvements we can make in the following areas:

  • The team at that time had some questions about the purpose of certain features they were building, as they may not have had a full understanding of the business and customer context.
  • Due to fluctuations in velocity, the team had difficulty effectively planning their workload.
  • Stories were often not completed within the cycle due to their size and complexity.

How We Helped

Impact the way we work

For approximately three months, we focused on improving the functionality of the Bill of Quantities (BoQ) component.

The first step was understanding blocking issues with the current implementation and which opportunities we needed to address to impact growth in new markets. Given that some Bill of Quantities (BoQ) standards exist in the industry, such as GAEB (Gemeinsamer Ausschuss Elektronik im Bauwesen) and ÖNORM (Österreichische Norm), our team focused on expanding the tool's support for these standards and minimizing the possible errors users encountered when uploading files in these formats.

We had the issue where conversion-related bugs were constantly being recorded second-hand by users, but we had no quantitative data to analyze the problem space fully. Our strategy was first to understand the scope of the problem by quantitative analysis of the customer support data we had, plus implementing more robust error tracking during document conversion. This would allow us to effectively prioritize which document types, standards, and standard versions to focus on.

At the same time, the team had been struggling with a large refactoring project of the core Bill of Quantities (BoQ) functionality. Ill-defined scoping had caused several delays in delivering this. Our job was to identify problem areas quickly, rescope and replan the initiative to bring it back on track and achieve the desired outcomes.

Our work involved not only the Engineers but also the UI/UX team, Customer Experience, Sales, and selected Cosuno customers.

Onboarded a new full-time Product Manager

It's time to say goodbye.

While Product People's Interim Product Managers successfully led the mission, Cosuno has found a new permanent PM for the team. The new PM was an existing employee with knowledge about the company and its process. And Cosuno decided to invest in upskilling them as a Product Manager.

We welcomed them with a Handover Document Product People created. The well-detailed document contained all the valuable information to help the new PM get up to speed immediately. Through the document, every detail of the mission was covered:

  • A short introduction to the mission
  • Introduction of the team and stakeholders
  • Ways of working and meeting cadence
  • A detailed explanation of the ongoing topics
  • A detailed explanation of the team OKRs
  • Summary of recently delivered projects and other topics

Product People also prepared handover sessions for the new PM. All the topics were discussed in those meetings, and the doubts were cleared. By holding several weekly sessions, Product People ensured that the new PM had quality deep dives into ongoing topics and extensive Q&A sessions. With the help of these sessions, the new PM could integrate the team's complex projects at an impressive pace.

Delivered Outcomes

💡 We developed a strategy for addressing document conversion-related issues.
💡 Brought high-priority rebuild of core functionality back on track within the team.
💡 Successfully handover the tasks and the team to the new PM.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

VP/Director/Head of Product
Associate Management Consultant
Product Management Consultant

For Clients: When to Hire Us

You can hire us as an Interim/Freelance Product Manager or Product Owner

It takes, on average, three to nine months to find the right Product Manager to hire as a full-time employee. In the meantime, someone needs to fill in the void: drive cross-functional initiatives, decide what is worth building, and help the development team deliver the best outcomes.
If you're looking for a great Product Manager / Product Owner to join your team ASAP, Product People is a good plug-and-play solution to bridge the gap.