Our Product team is responsible for creating all the synergies necessary to design, build and ship the final product. Always having to analyze the market understanding customer needs, to create innovative and profitable features and to make them come to life bringing them to the market; our Product team is as strategic as creative. Today we interviewed Alice Menenti, Senior Product Manager at Strands; to understand how well the Product team cooperates and collaborates with the rest of the organization, and how she brings together all our corporate values in the team.
“We – the Product Team – are daily required to collaborate with everyone in Strands because “what we do is who we are”.”
Is there a Strands value you particularly cherish or a benefit the company has brought you?
AM: Openness and team playing. When you join the Strands you realize that everyone is supportive and glad to facilitate your integration journey. “Stranders” are open to new adventures, they gather to overcome new challenges and they achieve results together, as a Team!
How does a typical Strands day look?
AM: It certainly starts with a coffee, espresso, short and strong! Then I turn on my laptop, check the meetings of the day and focus on what I need to execute in order to achieve top priority goals of the day.
Before jumping into the first meeting, I like taking the time to have a chat with other “Stranders” in the office. Just to kick start the day together, feel positive vibes and be there for each other. We have daily meetings to align on priorities, remove roadblocks and move forward. I always try to schedule meetings, even short, to jointly work with other “Stranders” and make sure that we progress together. Team playing is very important for me, it’s fundamental for engagement and crucial to achieve results. We often celebrate during mornings. Birthdays, colleagues returning from a trip. A perfect excuse to share special pastries and drinks in the middle of the morning!
Then everyone gets back to work, more meetings, more tasks, more achievements. “Stranders” are happy to share a meal during the lunch break, either you choose to eat in the office or go out for a walk, you will always have good company. The afternoon goes on, we rush, we work but we take the time to plan extra-work activities too. Soccer, paddle, karting. We cherish spending extra time together!
Have you faced any work challenge at the company that you are most proud of?
AM: Building up a new Product Team, nearly from scratch. Some colleagues left during the past months. It happens. Working life is a series of sliding doors, people come and go. But keeping things moving, while I was interviewing as many candidates as possible to replace all the missing teammates, has certainly been challenging. Moreover, I tried my best to select new teammates that could become a very integrated, effective and collaborative team.
How do you envision the Strands’ product roadmap going forward?
AM: I say, let the adventure begin! Now that we have a completely new Product Team on stage we shall set ourselves challenging milestones and embrace this amazing journey together! Our “playground”, the FinTech industry, is moving at a fast pace. Innovations, new players and, above all, new trends are coming to light every day. We have in our hands a cutting edge product to be proud of but now it’s our duty to keep on innovating, tackling emerging needs and, more than ever, thinking out of the box to anticipate what the market will demand tomorrow.
As a new employee, what impressions did you have of the company?
AM: Strands is a warm, very much welcoming family! After joining this company, I immediately discovered what becoming a “Strander” means. I took part of an international team of professionals, an amazing mixture of experiences, diversified cultures and nationalities. Everyone contributes to achieve results, everyone shares ideas, everyone supports each other, everyone gives you a smile to kick start a day, everyone has an incredible story to tell.
How do you collaborate with other departments?
AM: The Product Team has, by nature, a centric role in all organizations and so in Strands. We – the Product Team – are daily required to collaborate with everyone in Strands because “what we do is who we are”. All departments work around the product and our duty is to deliver a product that adheres to market needs, brings value and allows Strands to pursue its company strategy. I cherish collaboration and cooperation very much. I put my effort into establishing positive relationships with all “Stranders” to make sure that, anytime I can help, people will come to me to get support. I always prove to be accountable and reliable, I believe that trust is the fundamental of collaboration.
Are there any principles you believe successful products have in common?
AM: First of all, successful products have to be user centric. When we design a product, we need to understand what is the value that the final user is looking for or what is the problem to be solved. Moreover, we have to consider the whole product life cycle to better understand all the requirements of a successful product. The initial creation of a product is just the beginning. No products last forever and each stage of the product life cycle has its own requirements to match market needs.
How is the product team organized at Strands?
AM: There are four main streams of development to cover the entire scope of our product suite and offering. Each stream of development has its own backlog of activities, a dedicated team of developers and testers. One Product owner is assigned to lead each stream, feed the backlog and prioritize activities while Business analysts support requirements elicitation across all streams.
We are also implementing a new way of working together, as a team, to be more effective in reaching product delivery milestones. Each new feature to be developed is assigned to a team member that becomes fully responsible for the definition of all the end-to-end requirements to be implemented across the whole product suite. These requirements are gathered by collaborating with all the other team members while a clear accountability in leading the development of the new end-to-end feature is guaranteed.
Become part of the team
You will be working on many new and exciting projects as we seek take our solutions to the next level in order to benefit our clients and their customers. And you could help us! We’re looking for different positions in our offices worldwide. Take a look at open positions and don’t miss out!