Product People joined as Interim Product Managers to Optimize and Improve the Website of zolar, a Renewable Energy Company

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The Client: zolar GmbH - Photovoltaik und Stromspeicher deutschlandweit

zolar is a leading German company that specializes in providing innovative solar energy solutions for residential customers. Their mission is to help customers reduce their dependence on traditional energy sources and to save money on their energy bills by utilizing solar power.

Some of the services they offer include solar panel installation, energy storage systems that allow customers to store excess energy for later use, energy management systems to optimize energy usage, and monitoring and maintenance services.

They offer an online platform with a configurator to help customers navigate the process and make informed decisions. Additionally, their network of happy customers ”zolar Heroes” help to bring in new business. The company aims to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Overall, zolar's main focus is on providing its customers with a comprehensive service for the transition to solar energy. This way, customers can reduce their dependence on traditional energy sources and save money on their energy bills by utilizing solar power.

According to Crunchbase, zolar has raised a total of €159M in funding over 7 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on May 19, 2022, from a Series C round. Today, zolar GmbH boasts a team of over 400 employees who have successfully installed solar panels on over 6,000 homes. With a strong track record of success, the company continues to expand its reach and impact in renewable energy.

Picture from Unsplash | Nuno Marques

The Mission: Interim Website Product Manager

At Product People, we are proud to have partnered with zolar to support their Growth Marketing team in their efforts to optimize and improve their website. Our skilled product management professionals joined the team to provide their expertise and help drive the company's ongoing success.

zolar's website provides a comprehensive and user-friendly platform for customers to assess the compatibility of solar panels for their specific requirements. Through a series of detailed questions on the website, the configurator tool determines the necessary specifications. After completing the assessment, the zolar team reaches out to customers with personalized information regarding pricing and other relevant details to assist them in making an informed decision about their solar energy needs.


Upon joining the team, we identified several key challenges that needed to be addressed to drive the website team. These challenges included:

  • Lack of a dedicated website product manager
  • Lack of streamlined stakeholder management channels
  • Lack of resources & the need to establish a new team dedicated to website development
  • Difficulty in managing the delivery of new features and updates to the website

Our team worked diligently to address these challenges and provide effective solutions.

Our Main Quest

Hiring and Onboarding New Team Members

When we joined zolar, the website team comprised one full-time developer and one junior developer. The company recognized the need for additional resources and had begun the process of hiring new team members. As interim product managers, we were actively involved in ensuring that the new hires were not only skilled but also culturally aligned with the organization.

We also took proactive measures to prepare for their integration into the team.

  • Involvement in the recruiting process: We were part of the recruiting process and provided feedback on the candidates. This allowed us to ensure that we were onboarding the right people for the team
  • Documentation: The new team members needed to understand the company's products, systems, and processes quickly to start contributing to the team's goals. We created detailed documentation of the company's products, systems, and processes. This documentation served as a one-stop shop for all the information the new team members needed to get up to speed.
  • Regular check-ins: We held regular check-ins with the new team members to ensure that they were progressing well and address any challenges they were facing.
  • Provided a safe environment: We made sure that the new team members felt welcomed into the team by providing a safe environment to talk and chat about their problems. This allowed them to feel comfortable and supported, which is crucial for their performance.

Improving the Scrum Ceremonies

We reviewed the existing ceremonies as a team with the new developers in place. We hosted a workshop to identify personal working styles, needs, & pain points. This helped us to determine the most efficient times & agendas for scrum ceremonies which still allowed for dedicated focus time.

Developer’s Workshop

We established the following scrum rituals with the team as a consequence of the workshop:

  • Daily Stand-Up:Review goals, ensure adherence to the project timeline, and address any potential obstacles the team may be facing.
  • Backlog Refinement:To refine the backlog and assign tasks.
  • Sprint Planning:To review the refined backlog, and determine which items to prioritize for the upcoming sprint.


We established documentation to improve communication and transparency with stakeholders and cross-functional teams. This included guidelines for meetings, a streamlined backlog flow for prioritizing tasks, standardized ticket templates for the website team, and clear instructions for submitting requests to the website team

The website team faced challenges in communicating effectively with stakeholders and cross-functional teams. Requests were coming from various sources, leading to confusion about how to proceed. Our solution supported an efficient way to intake & review these requests while promoting a clear understanding of the website team’s priorities.

The implementation of the documentation system had a positive impact on the operations of the website team. Stakeholders and cross-functional teams were able to communicate effectively with the website team, leading to improved efficiency and clarity. The standardized ticket templates and clear instructions for submitting requests also helped to streamline the request process. Our documentation was shared with other teams & also helped onboard the new PM.

Stakeholder Management

The newly established website team did not yet have a manageable & effective way to communicate with a large group of stakeholders. This led to a lack of company-wide transparency, accountability, and time-consuming collaborations. As a result, stakeholder concerns were not addressed efficiently, which resulted in a blocker in many workstreams. To address these matters, we implemented measures such as dedicated Slack groups for communication with stakeholders and took ownership of a bi-weekly stakeholder roundtable, where stakeholders could bring up issues and engage in discussions with the Product Manager.

The implementation of such measures resulted in significant improvements in communication & time management with stakeholders. We experienced increased stakeholder satisfaction and progress on several work streams.

Roadmap to Hit OKRs

The roadmap was created with the input of key stakeholders and was designed to provide a clear and concise overview of the organization's priorities. It was regularly updated to reflect changes in the priorities and to ensure that everyone was aware of the latest information. The roadmap provided transparency, as stakeholders were able to see the progress of different topics and understand the priorities of different cross-functional teams.

Based on the insights and feedback gathered, we developed this product roadmap that aligned with the company's OKRs (objectives and key results). We prioritized features and initiatives that would drive improved customer satisfaction, and increase conversion rate. We also established regular check-ins with cross-functional teams to ensure that the product was on track to hit the company OKRs.

Website Roadmap

Mission Achievements: Delivered Outcomes

💡 Improved sprint velocity by establishing necessary Agile ceremonies.
💡 Successfully collaborated with stakeholders to build trust and ensure product relevance.
💡 Implemented effective processes and created comprehensive documentation.
💡 Helped with recruiting and onboarding new team members.
💡 Created a clear and concise roadmap that outlined and prioritized the key initiatives and objectives.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

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