Team Product: Shaping the Journey to our North Star

At CheMondis, Team Product plays a key role in developing and maintaining a customer friendly product with new features and innovative components. The team defines, prioritizes and coordinates product increments in alignment with customer needs and commercial goals. In other words, Team Product shapes the journey to the North Star, our vision.

 “Our vision is to establish a global marketplace and network to connect chemical experts, products and services.” – Eugen Dück, Head of Product

Eugen works hand in hand with Product Owner Markus, Scrum Master Susanne and Product Designers Pedro, Uros and Boris.

How we Work: Agile Product Development

We develop our product based on the Scrum framework to create and release software increments in small iterations. Scrum is a framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products. It consists of three pillars: transparency, inspection, and adaptation. These pillars thrive us to become better day by day.

The heart of Scrum is the Sprint with a time box of 2-4 weeks, in which a “Done” product increment is created which can often be already used by our customers. A Scrum team is cross-functional and consists of the Product Owner, Development Team Members, Product Designer, and Scrum Master. The team works self-organized and inspects the increment together with the Stakeholders on a frequent basis.

At CheMondis we established many best practices like physical Kanban boards or confidence votes to increase the focus, commitment, and outcome of the team.

Scrum Master Susanne Unger upholds the agile product development process. She keeps track of all development activities, facilitates scrum meetings, removes impediments, and coaches team members in their daily work to live up to the scrum values and agile mindset.

“I want to empower people and enable organizations to productively and creatively develop products of the highest possible value.” – Susanne

Product Owner Markus Oligslagers steers the product towards our vision. He defines the product roadmap, creates and maintains the product backlog, and plans the work for the upcoming Sprint together with the Development team.

The CheMondis product development process is structured in three consecutive steps, which lead to the effective development of product increments every two weeks:

  • Step 1: The discovery process, in which we explore general ideas that we believe can improve the marketplace.
  • Step 2: The design process, in which designs are created to shape the best possible user experience on CheMondis.
  • Step 3: The delivery process, in which the actual product delivery takes place and new features go online. Ready to be used by our customers.

The Discovery Process

In the discovery process, ideas are gathered from the team and more important from our customers and stakeholders. Grooming sessions, feedback surveys, and customer validation interviews help to generate and collect ideas. Every individual idea gets further validated with thorough testing and prototypes. Every positively validated idea finds its way into the product roadmap, which gives a rough overview of all upcoming functionalities, features, and components.

CheMondis understands the importance of customer-centricity and implemented it into the DNA of the company. Hence user feedback and insights from user tests and customer interviews are the foundation of our daily work and every new feature which you will see on our marketplace.

Product design 

After the decision to go for an idea was taken, the next step is to develop the concept for it, including the usability on the marketplace. When developing and implementing new features and components, Team Product directs its efforts towards functionality, usability and seamless user experience.

“We give our best to “walk in our customer’s shoes”. That’s how we aim to provide the best customer experience.” – Uros Durdevic

Product usability is one of the main focuses of the CheMondis marketplace. The goal is to support our customers with reaching their goals in the most effective and efficient way.

Our Product Designers do not only shape the appearance of the product but also the whole experience users will (hopefully) enjoy when they interact with CheMondis. For example, our Designers Pedro, Uros, and Boris mapped as a starting point the User Journey, which includes all touchpoints between the user and the marketplace. Based on this, they are optimizing step by step every touchpoint until we reached our final goal – a happy customer.

The Delivery Process

Before sprints start, Product Owners and all engineers align on a sprint goal and the work which needs to get done to achieve the goal. The outcome of the sprint planning is the sprint backlog, which is a collection of all work items for the sprint.

Our Product Owners Markus and Eugen carry the ownership for the product backlog, which is a prioritized and refined list of upcoming user stories and eventually bug fixes. The product backlog is kept transparent for the entire organization and can be described as our game plan.

Once the sprint starts, tickets are developed, reviewed, and ultimately deployed according to their acceptance criteria to the marketplace. To ensure the best practice at any time, Scrum Master Susanne Unger upholds the daily meeting of 15min in which helps the whole team to align, analyze, and improve their work.

At the end of the two-week-sprint-cycle, a review is held. Each user story gets inspected by the Product Owner and internal Stakeholders regarding to its pre-defined acceptance criteria. A live performance of the functionality on the marketplace is held in front of the entire CheMondis team, to experience, discuss and celebrate the achievements of the sprint.

Now it is up to you

What’s your experience with scrum? Which features and functionalities could be useful? And what do you think of our marketplace? Do you have more questions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Thank you for taking the time to read the CheMondis Blog.