Interim Product Managers from Product People Established the Product Community from Scratch for Utopia Music
The Client: Utopia Music
The number 1 Growth Partner for the Music Industry
🎸 Utopia Music is a hyper-growth company aiming to become the world’s preferred technology firm supporting everyone in the Music Industry by creating new revenue streams, consolidating data, and reducing administration fees by offering a broad spectrum of diverse, yet deeply innovative services across the globe.Fair Pay for Every Play.
Utopia Music was founded in Switzerland in 2016. The company has offices in Zug, London, Stockholm, Helsinki, Brussels, Barcelona, Paris, Los Angeles, Nashville, Vienna, and Sydney and has near over 500 employees worldwide.
Mission: Interim Program Manager for the Product Creation Enablement
Utopia Music has experienced exponential growth over the last few years. In 2020 the product management team had only a few members, now it includes more than 30 product experts. To support productive collaboration, it was necessary to establish a clear communication framework and implement product management fundamentals and guidelines across all product teams.
The hyper-growing companies find the employer presence strategically crucial to acquire the best talents, maintain growth, and drive innovation. Because of that, Utopia Music wanted to build a strong brand to make it more appealing among tech and product experts, through external events visibility and content creation.
The objectives of our mission were:
Building a Product Management Community of Practice that allows product experts to align, and exchange knowledge, best practices, and lessons learned among product managers.
Creating the onboarding documentation for product teams to make sure all new joiners are equipped with the necessary knowledge to start working in cross-functional teams.
Building the event knowledge base to promote Utopia Music’s strong brand as a product company.
How We Helped
Created Alignment on the Current Situation in Product Creation
What we did:
Based on the inputs from the interviews, we prepared a report that included employees’ experiences and feedback and prioritized them.
We facilitated the communication between the marketing, PR, and human resources units and made sure that the suggestions highlighted by the employees were properly addressed.
Launched the Internal Product Management Community
What we did:
We interviewed product managers to collect information about current ways of communicating among product experts, topics to be discussed within the community, and preferred formats.
We prepared the community framework and the roll-out plan that included formats, topics, success metrics, timelines, and milestones.
We created online communication channels, built the product-related knowledge base (list of product-related books, summaries of the books or articles), hosted biweekly meetups, and initiated short coffee meetings among the community members.
We improved the structure of the community, based on regular surveys.
We created the documentation (instructions, templates) that enable other cross-functional team representatives (ie. design, engineering, data) to launch new communities on their own.
We prepared a list of best practices for keeping the community active.
44% of attendees actively attended the community meetups.
According to the survey: on average, more than 40% of community members attend the biweekly meetups and 87% of the community members consider the community meetups useful, meaning that the shared knowledge improves their day-to-day work.
Organized the Product Management Offsite
We organized the first in-person event for 40+ Product Management Community members in Stockholm, Sweden. The objective was to craft the future fundamental product management guidelines in Utopia Music and discover the existing synergies between the products across different units. In order to empower attendees to play an active role in the event, we used the un-conference format. Every attendee created the agenda by adding the topics they would like to work on within smaller groups facilitated by the Agile Coach.
What we did:
Prepared the project plan that included the timeline, milestones, format, theme, and agenda of the event.
Managed the project - logistics (hotel, flights, catering, conference room), content, and communication with the project members, external providers, main stakeholders, and attendees.
Coordinated all activities during the event.
Collected all action points and created the database of the content created during the event.
91.5% of the Product Management Community members joined the event.
The overall rating of the event was 9.4/10.
Here’s what the attendees said about the event:
“I solved a problem with a colleague from other squads that would have taken months to solve online.”
“Un-Conference reinforced my understanding of communication and alignment needs between squads.”
“Big kudos to everyone organizing it! I am definitely inspired and motivated now to keep building our products and get all those great ideas developed.”
“Let’s make this PM event every other quarter and perhaps extend to other cross-functional teams”
Enhanced Employer Branding Activities
The Marketing team coordinates all the activities related to Utopia Music attendance at the external tech and product events. We supported the team in searching for product-related activities and providing product management content that allows the company to attract more product and tech talents during the events.
What we did
Prepared a database of all the product-related activities (e.g. conferences, meetups, podcasts) that could be relevant to Utopia Music.
Advised on publishing the product-related content created within the community.
Built the Framework of an Educational Program for Product Managers
To make sure all product managers are equipped with the same knowledge of product management principles and have a clear understanding of the expectations of skills for each level of seniority, we started building the educational program framework.
What we did:
We prepared a list of recommended product management fundamental courses.
We interviewed the Product Managers about the skills and knowledge they would like to acquire.
We coordinated the communication with the main stakeholders (i.e. Product Leadership Team) to adjust the program to the current needs of the product experts.
We built the first draft of the competency matrix for all levels of seniority.
Improved the Onboarding Process for Product and Program Managers
What we did:
We prepared an onboarding checklist for new program managers that includes the documentation, meetings, tools, and people to meet.
We described the community manager’s scope of responsibilities at Utopia Music.
We provided the outline of the onboarding documentation for all new employees from cross-functional teams (product, design, data, engineering), based on the feedback given by employees who recently joined the company, and current documentation.
💡 Launched the internal product management community and prepared the documentation with the instruction for launching a new community in other cross-functional teams.
💡 Organized a 3-day off-site for Product Managers that helped the experts align on principles, methodologies, and long-term objectives.
💡 Improved the onboarding process for a Program Manager and successfully onboarded a new Program Manager to take over the activities.
💡 Improved the communication between the main stakeholders responsible for employer branding activities, onboarding, and hiring.
💡 Built the framework of the educational program for product managers that includes the competency frameworks for each level and the scope of future educational workshops.
In the Client's Own Words
Space Crew of this Mission
Associate Product Manager II
Associate Product Manager II
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.