Welcome to our Life at Planday series, where we catch up with Planday-ers from our offices around the globe. This month, we speak to Daniel Mc Goldrick, one of our superstar Product Analysts at our Copenhagen office. Enjoy!
Q: What is a Product Analyst’s role at Planday?
A: A Product Analyst is responsible for planning and refining the work that goes into building our product.
We collect and analyse all sources of input — including feedback from our users, from our support team, from our onboarding team, from our marketing and sales teams, and occasionally feedback from senior management. Basically, everyone feeds data into the product team about the functionality, improvements, and features they would like to see next.
The Product Analyst (also known as Product Owner) then quantifies all of this input to prioritise and scope upcoming projects for their respective engineering team.
This data-driven approach also aims to get updated versions of our product with new features and improvements out in the wild to start testing and measuring as soon as possible. We call this “the MVP approach”, or the minimum viable product.
One of the greatest advantages of this approach is that it allows us to focus our efforts on features which impact our users, measured by our users’ adoption and satisfaction. We do this within an agile framework in scrum teams, with continuous delivery in fortnightly sprint cycles.
Being an agile product engineering organisation means that we build, measure, and learn consistently. By taking this “inspect and adapt” approach we can quickly pivot if a decision or plan of action isn’t achieving the results we expected, making sure we adjust to achieve the best results.
As a Mobile Product Analyst, I work very closely with our mobile developers throughout the planning and delivery process. A part of the analyst’s role is to write user stories containing acceptance criteria — basically a statement of where the value lies in the things that we want to deliver to the hands of the end user of our product.
Q: Why did you choose a career as a Product Analyst?
A: I’ve had a lot of varied roles in software, localisation, copywriting and QA testing, with an educational background in physical product design. The good thing about product analysis is that it gives you a varied work day, and allows you to have a finger in every pie, so to say — you get to influence the whole process and see a finished piece of work at the end.
Q: What attracted you to Planday?
A: Denmark attracted me initially — the work-life balance here is famous all around the world!
Once I started checking out the job market here in Copenhagen to find out who was hiring in the SaaS industry I came across Planday. The product wasn’t too far removed from my previous role working with workplace management platforms, so I read up about the product and the company values and it really seemed to click with me.
I had a great interview process – and that also sold me on pursuing a career with Planday. It’s a challenging environment with colleagues that you can trust to give real passion to their work, so there’s never a dull moment.
Q: What was the interview process like?
A: It was very smooth. Intense, but always fair. I put together a proposal on what my first six to nine months would look like once I got here. And in the end, many of those projects were actually achieved. The openness and ability to influence projects straight away was pretty cool.
It’s refreshing to be able to deliver on work that was discussed as early as the interview process, knowing it wasn’t just empty words to get a foot in the door.
Q: What do you love most about your role?
A: I like the dynamic day-to-day of it. I can go from meeting customers one day – taking on board their ideas and feedback – to crunch time with the engineering team, building and adapting the platform to stay ahead of changes in the marketplace.
I’m kept on my toes, and the days fly by. There’s a lot of encouragement to continuously develop and diversify your skill set, but I love the challenge of it all and seeing things being put into action.
Q: If you could give someone new to the Planday team one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: Don’t be afraid to fail. You only learn by doing.
And when it comes to your colleagues, know that you can trust people in the company to do their jobs well. So that takes a lot of the strain off. It’s great to be able to collaborate with people who are good at their jobs and who enjoy simply getting things done, and done well.
And in the end, that’s what I try to do here. If I can help build something people actually want and need to use, that they find helpful, then that’s my job done.
Want to join Daniel and the rest of the Planday team? Check out our open positions and apply today!