Leading the Strategy for B2B Benefits as Interim Product Managers for FREE NOW Mobility

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The client: FREE NOW

FREE NOW is a mobility service provider with the largest selection of vehicles in Europe. Available in 16 markets and 170+ cities, more than 56 million users are choosing from the wide range of mobility options using just one app. FREE NOW is the first mobility platform in Europe to reach Net-Zero - intending to create a sustainable, urban mobility experience in every European city.

FREE NOW is part of the mobility joint venture between BMW and Daimler, formed in February 2019. With total funding of $131.2M raised, the company’s majority shareholders are BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz Group AG.

Dashboard FreeNow

The company brings together numerous mobility partners to make urban mobility more efficient and sustainable without putting new vehicles on the road. By integrating various mobility brands and payment options, they can book the nearest taxi, rental car with a driver, car sharing, or micro-mobility options such as e-scooters, e-mopeds, and e-bikes within the FREE NOW app.

The Mission: Interim Product Manager

We joined the B2B Tribe to serve as Interim Product Managers within the B2B Rider Experience team first, which later split into two teams, and then we were allocated within the B2B Benefits team. We were part of a team of front-end Engineers, back-end Engineers, an Engineering Manager, a UI/UX Designer, and a UX Researcher. The Product Manager in this team went on parental leave, and Product People’s Interim Product Managers came to support.

Our goal was to support the tribe in their focus to split teams and realign their priorities towards the tribe’s objectives and the company goals and vision.

The B2B Tribe’s key objective was to increase tours and revenue for FREE NOW for Business and integrate with partners and expand their footprint to increase New Active Users.

We were specifically tasked to look after the FREE NOW Mobility Budget, where companies can set an individual amount that can be redeemed for all FREE NOW services.

How We Helped

Delivery: B2B Benefits Strategy

For approximately 2 months, we had several strategy deep-dives sessions for the creation of the final document and presentation to the company's board and company stakeholders.

All the work was based on a previous survey run by the company, where they did market research, defined objectives, defined target personas, etc. This previous research was also the basis and support for the MVP development.

The starting point in this process was to hold a Product Strategy Session with the entire team, using the Product Vision & Strategy Canvas as a guiding framework.

Product Vision & Strategy Canvas framework

After this session, a canvas area was assigned to each person on the team to collect data and relevant information to answer questions on the topic. The involvement of other people who were not participating in the project was encouraged to have other perspectives and avoid bias.

All the information collected was put into a shared document, which was later the basis for the presentation. A timeline was also proposed, with weekly work evolution check-ins.

Timeline for the strategy definition process

In the personas creation stage, Product People had special participation. Several interviews with users, account managers, and HR teams were carried out to gather information and to help in the creation of the personas. FREE NOW's UX Researcher interviewed some Product People employees.

Three primary personas were created in this process, with specific desires and different pain points. With the personas, their goals and pain points defined, opportunities for improvement and product development were raised. These opportunities were prioritized according to execution difficulty and scalability.

Personas, goals, pain points, and opportunities

With the pain points and opportunities already mapped, the work was to define the next steps in developing the product. Two horizons were set, Horizon 1 (2022) and Horizon 2 (2023). In addition, three main pillars were defined: improving the efficiency and management of the product for the Benefits Teams and Managers (existing and new clients), improving product offering and experience for the Mobility Budget Travelers (end users), and generating more revenue opportunities for FREE NOW for Business.

For Horizonte 1, most actions were focused on improving efficiency and benefits maintenance for the Benefits teams, which in our quick win perspective, would enable us to acquire more companies as clients. For Horizonte 2, in addition to actions in pillar 1, the other two pillars were more detailed.

Product horizons and pillars

Another attribution of the PMs was to start the process of continuous discovery, including regular interviews with customers, to detail the opportunities raised during defining the product strategy.

Cross-functional teams (Product, Sales, UX, UI, Data, Tech, Marketing, etc.) were created to handle the activities. All the work was documented on boards in Miro, shared documents in Drive, and the roadmap in Jira. The prioritization of activities was also up to these groups, who decided what the next steps would be as a group.

Continuous Discovery process and Roadmap plans on Jira

Definition of the OKRs (and NCT framework test)

After the product strategy definition process was completed, it was time for the Product People PMs to lead the team in defining the OKRs. The process began with disclosing the company's OKRs, and the objective was to unfold them into OKRs for the teams.

We were also careful to align the new OKRs with the goals defined in the product strategy. In this way, we would be able to achieve the company's OKRs and also address the problems and opportunities that were raised during the strategy definition process.

At the same time, the company decided to test a new approach to setting goals using the NCT (narratives, commitments, and tasks) framework. The B2B Benefits Team was one of those chosen to start testing this new method. Here, we were also careful to align the previously defined OKRs with the NCTs, using the new framework as a complementary tool so that we have the same direction in 2 different frameworks.

Onboarded new Full-Time Product Manager

It's time to say goodbye.

While Product People's Interim Product Managers successfully led the mission, FREE NOW has found a new permanent PM for the team. The new PM was an internal resource with knowledge about the company and its process.

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 more than 24 pages, 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 company and team OKRs
  • A detailed explanation of the ongoing topics
  • A detailed explanation of the B2B Strategy topic
  • Summary of recently delivered projects and other topics
  • Compilation of links to essential documents, systems, boards, etc.
  • List of key people, including other teams and stakeholders

Product People also prepared handover sessions for the new PM. In those meetings, all the topics were discussed, and the doubts were cleared. By holding several weekly sessions, Product People ensured that the new PM had quality deep dives into ongoing topics, as well as 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

💡 Led the definition and dissemination of the product and team strategy to the entire company and other stakeholders.
💡 Helped build the new team and redefine their priorities to ensure timely delivery of a product.
💡 Successfully onboarded the new PM.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

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

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.