Ever wondered what a product manager at a leading property tech startup does? It can change from an hour to the next because the role entails wearing several hats and facing multiple roadblocks that need immediate solutions.
Ohmyhome’s very own product manager Kelvin Beh is here to show you a snapshot of his workday as part of our #WorkCulture series. Beh, as we call him (instead of his first name) is the guy who is often seen working in closed-door meeting rooms. Whenever he walks up and talks to someone in the team, it means business! Either he will follow up on pending projects that need immediate action or requires input on an urgent sprint he is working on.
Here’s a typical day in his professional life as a Product Manager at Ohmyhome.
8:00 am: Work in Progress (WIP) Consultation
A typical Wednesday begins at 8 am with a one-hour consultation across all the departments from Engineering, Marketing, Customer Service, Operations, Design, Business Development, the Philippines (PH) team, to the Malaysia team.
During the consultation, you will consistently hear that voice saying; “I think this one requires a separate discussion” whenever his teammates start putting their heads together on something outside the main agenda. That’s Beh, that’s how stringent he is when spending his time. This WIP is then concluded with a list of actionable items for the week.
9:15-9:35 am: Tech Stand-up Meeting
As a vital part of the agile development process, the tech team’s daily stand-up takes place for 20 minutes. It’s literal, the entire team stands up to create a sense of discomfort — a technique meant to avoid fixation on an issue.
Very quickly, work is reviewed from the day before, the problems spotted, and issues are raised across the various platforms from Android, iOS, backend, data, Quality Assurance (QA), and the website. During this meeting, you will hear again that familiar voice saying; “Let me stop you there...” before he clarifies a potential roadblock. That’s Beh, he ensures that the stand-up’s goal is achieved and everyone has grasped their commitments for the day without being side-tracked.
Beh's presentation during Ohmyhome's Second Anniversary
9:35-10:35 am: Data Team Exploration
On top of being the Product Manager, Beh also leads the data team, a role which is doubly crucial since data is the brain of the company. As a proptech company, Ohmyhome won’t be soaring as swiftly without data. He doesn’t just test the waters because we are working with big data where the possibilities are limitless. So when talking about deep-dives, Beh is the master!
After convening with the rest of the team, the metrics and trends will then serve as eyes for the next product features or optimisations. With clear data visualisation, Beh is more equipped to build tools and frameworks for the company infrastructure. Surprises hardly catch Beh, he is always thinking at least two steps ahead!
10:35-11:35 am: Product Feature Collaboration
Beh supremely values teamwork. He understands the gravity of his role in the company as well as to the rest of the team, yet he acknowledges that he can’t possibly accomplish it in isolation. A product feature is one thing, yet it’s usefulness to the consumers is another.
Want to find out Beh’s secret in launching not only an aesthetically beautiful product but is also beneficial to the users? For him, success is through a collaborative decision-making process by the Engineering, UIX Designers, QA, Operations and the whole team collectively. Each new feature request is evaluated vis-a-vis the company’s goal. Beh utilises multi-disciplinary thinking to rope together the functions of disparate teams to execute a well thought out idea.
Each stakeholder has a strong sense of ownership, hence product feature sessions can sometimes become so intense. Amidst this, you will hear the same voice saying; “Let me educate you…” before he coolheadedly puts out the fire. No one else in the entire team says that line without being offensive. He says it so calmly and elucidates so tolerantly to push the team further.
Beh receiving his "Most Innovative Award" handed by Ohmyhome's CEO Rhonda Wong and COO Race Wong
11:45-1:45 pm: Deep work
Beh has these rare hours to himself. Despite the towering mental demands from the morning meetings, you won’t see Beh tired. He always exudes energy and positivity. This time Beh gets to sit down and catch up on his reporting, reviewing KPI metrics, reading up on tech news, as well as researching feature releases as a source of inspiration. Despite being in the zone, he doesn’t mind anyone going up to him for brief discussions.
1:45-2:35 pm: Finally lunch!
With mornings typically reserved to align with the team, lunch usually doubles as a one-to-one session to catch up with other team members on the latest news, as well as brainstorming. Beh’s day is the epitome of “Carpe diem!”.
2:45-5:45 pm: Video Conferencing
Beh generally schedules the majority of meetings after lunch, which will involve different stakeholders, while brainstorming and making adjustments according to ongoing and changing business needs. With a handful of tech team members based in the Philippines, Beh has these hours spent mostly in video conference meetings. Whenever there are modifications to a previously agreed plan which may upset some members of the team, you will customarily hear Beh’s reassuring voice saying: “There is no reason to be upset” or “Moving forward…”
Beh is a forward-thinker and driven to provide solutions for the team. He has innovative ideas to create workflows and aid the team in tracking progress. If there’s a workplace screen monitoring system, the computer that opens the most number of tickets on JIRA software, Trello Boards, Slack Channels or mentions on Slack, data visualisations and Zoom meetings, that’s none other than Beh.
5:30-7:00 pm: Wrap up
Beh scrutinises the work done and outlines what he aims to get done the next day. But his day doesn’t halt at 7 pm. He remains contactable for urgent issues and assists the Customer Service Team for tech matters. Beh ensures that his skills remain relevant and continue to upgrade in this fast-paced industry by attending courses after office hours. He also does some reading in the evening, with some of his favourites being Medium for UX, PM, data science, and management, Tech in Asia, as well as Kaggle for data science.
Product management in a rapidly expanding and dynamic company such as Ohmyhome is too diverse to encapsulate in a 12-hour agenda, as such there is irrefutably no one typical day for Beh. Undoubtedly an interdisciplinary role, Beh is ultimately responsible to lead cross-collaborations, steer productive and edifying interactions among the team to drive the product forward.
A fully loaded day in the life of a product manager seems to paint a picture of a stern-looking melancholic gentleman. Yet no matter how stressful his day could possibly be, nothing seems to get him down and you will always see him smiling. When asked about how he is able to keep his cool throughout an entire day of back-to-back discussions and dealing with a myriad of different temperaments, Beh only had this to say; “My goal is to help people through where I am. Knowing I can achieve that with the rest of the team is more than enough for me.”
Unquestionably, a day in the life of a product manager has tons of problem-solving, prioritisation and conceptualisation required. More importantly, it takes commitment and passion for someone to be in Beh’s role. Being a product manager is certainly not for the faint of heart!
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Based on transaction prices and number of units sold in the second quarter of 2020