Helping Early-Stage Companies

At early-stage companies, there may only be one or two product managers. Or, perhaps the product management function has not been established yet. An individual from another part of the company may be performing product management activities without formal knowledge, process, or structure. Often, a company founder may still be performing the role of product manager.

Examples of Typical Business Challenges at Early Stage Companies

Resource Strains

CHALLENGE: As a company grows and the product development team scales, the original founding team is pulled into details of defining requirements and use cases, writing stories, planning releases, and designing workflows to support the development efforts.

EXAMPLE ENGAGEMENT: Train the team members in order to improve effectiveness. Possibly stepping in to do hands-on product management work as a “Fractional Product Manager” to offload work.

Building Out the Product Function - When and How?

CHALLENGE: Junior product managers, or individuals newly transitioned into product management from other roles at the company require coaching to in order to scale with the business. Or, the team may be planning to building out a Product function for the first time.

EXAMPLE ENGAGEMENT: Helping to define the right product tools and processes needed your business, coaching and mentoring new or junior PMs, writing job descriptions, and screening for the right candidates.

Product-Market Fit

CHALLENGE: Your team has good ideas but are struggling to get traction in the market.

EXAMPLE ENGAGEMENT: Help you understand why by assessing the current state and help you develop strategies to raise your revenue. Are your product features missing the mark? How well are you scoring in user experience? Does your product marketing plan match your product? Has a recent innovation disrupted your business?


CHALLENGE: Your team spends too long developing features that customers don’t like.

EXAMPLE ENGAGEMENT: Provide guidance on developing strategies to get feedback earlier in the development process from your target market will help improve the quality of what you deliver by validating your assumptions sooner and developing strategies for continuous re-evaluation of how well your product is meeting market needs. Focus groups - when to hold them, what to ask, how to ask it. Operational feedback - what data to collect, what to do with it, how to make it useful.

Workflow Design

CHALLENGE: Lack of structured product workflow resulted in missing product-market fit validation or customer journey gaps.

EXAMPLE ENGAGEMENT: Train the team on best practices to prevent missed data, skipping steps etc. thereby reducing avoidable post release rework.

Release Planning

CHALLENGE: The team is struggling with how to break down large projects into smaller releases that provide incremental value and learning.

EXAMPLE ENGAGEMENT: Introduce the team to techniques, like user story mapping, to help them break down complex workflows into smaller releases.