A Day in the Life of a Razorpay Product Manager
“A product manager is the CEO of the product” – one of the most advertised quotes for PMs, and I guess no PM would disagree with it.
And being the CEO you can’t expect any two days to be identically the same or in fact, there is a high chance that all of the weekdays stand way apart. This generally happens because a typical product manager does everything to build the right product for the end customer and most of the time it also depends upon what stage of the product development they are into.
It would be hard to pen down everything that a PM does on a day-to-day basis but the below schedule will give you a fair idea of general activities that all product managers at Razorpay do every day for building the right product for our customers.
Razorpay being an employee-first company, never enforces any specific login time for the employees. Still, all the Razors kick off their day max by 11:00 AM.
Pulse Check on Numbers – Being a leader in the payment industry, PMs at Razorpay is surrounded by a lot of data. Every PM kick starts their day by looking into their Northstar metrics for the past day. Looker being our analytical tool, we ensure that L0, L1, L2, L3, L4 metrics are pushed on respective slack channels every day so that it’s easy to consume by anyone.
Any anomaly detected would be reported immediately to the concerned team. Sometimes it could be due to external factors for which partner or bank will be contacted for finding the root cause and resolution.
Starting the day by looking at all the metrics of the product has helped me a lot in terms of building muscle memory around numbers, this practice also comes in handy when I deal with cross-functional stakeholders and customer conversations. Due to automation from Looker and integration with Slack, it hardly takes 5 minutes to be on top of metrics.
Focussed Work – Everything related to product documentation goes into this space because you need to ensure that your PRD captures all the requirements in the crispest way so that it’s easy for engineers to consume.
Follow this link, just in case if you want to know our PRD structure. 🙂
This slot is also used for the conceptualization of ideas that were discussed sometimes with internal stakeholders or merchants. Writing down ideas onto the paper gives clarity of thought on actual work that might be required to accomplish the task and whether it would be beneficial for the customers or not.
Completing a document gives me a feeling of accomplishment as I am the one who loves to document almost everything. And hence this is my favourite slot of the day, which I enjoy a lot. Firefighting days don’t let me work on this, but somehow I ensure that I do this at least 3days in a week.
Daily Standup – A daily 15-minute team standup is conducted by EMs every day, which is generally a standard part of the agile development process. This is a common time when engineers, product managers, and designers on our team assemble to share updates from yesterday and planned tasks that would be accomplished today. Every team has its own Jira board, which is used for managing the standups.15 minutes of discussion gives a complete view of the progress the team made yesterday.
Email and Slack Check – Being product manager of payment methods, my inbox and Slack is usually flooded with updates, reminders, follow-ups, and escalations. Superhuman helps me to figure out the priority emails and I ensure to address them immediately. Slack being a communication channel at Razorpay, helps to organize and set reminders on messages. This takes approx an hour or so but gives enough visibility on all things happening in and around payments.
Lunch – Prior to a pandemic, in-person lunch with colleagues in the office used to be pure bliss and a refreshing session, as it was a great way to talk about something other than work.
Afternoon Catchups – PM at Razorpay deals with multiple cross-functional teams on a day-to-day basis and it’s important to have regular discussions with them to have a 360-degree view of things happening in and around. These discussions can be categorized into:
- Sprint Planning meeting with engineers and designers – PMs decide what would go into the sprint as per the priority and also, evaluate the prior sprint backlogs. EMs would get the update from the engineers, designers and conclude on the sprint performance.
- Huddle with the Sales team on new product launch – Launching multiple products with release notes is a common practice among PMs, but at the same time, one needs to ensure that the launched product is able to entice the sales team. Razorpay PMs create a sales pitch deck and production demo environment for all the new releases. PMs, give a walkthrough on the feature released along with key differentiators from the competition. With a pitch deck and demo environment, the sales team becomes equipped to jump into the market.
- PRD/Design/Tech Spec Walkthroughs – Often it’s said that once a PRD is created, it’s the engineer’s job to read them and implement the same but that ends up being more instructive work rather than a collaborative approach. At Razorpay, each document PRD/Design/Tech Spec is discussed with the entire team to get their inputs and ideas around the proposed solution. Walkthroughs provide everyone the sense of ownership towards building a product that solves end-user problems and how each one of the team members owns the success/failure of the product.
- Ad Hoc meetings to unblock developers, designers, and support teams – When multiple external stakeholders are involved, there are high chances that the team might hit a blocker due to the unavailability of support or resources. PMs owning the complete ecosystem at Razorpay, act as the bridge between external and internal stakeholders to unblock the product development. These meetings are valuable. Sometimes, it might be the product manager who requests them. But ad hoc internal meetings also lead to filling up the calendar quickly, leaving no time for the other essential parts of the job.
- Quarterly Roadmap Planning – Quarterly Roadmap is followed at Razorpay, which is frozen a month prior to the quarter start. PMs owns it completely which requires inputs from stakeholders, analyzing the impact, and prioritizing the roadmap based upon the availability of engineers. This requires multiple back and forth discussions with almost all the cross-functional teams at Razorpay.
- Monthly Review – We have monthly lookback discussions to see the progress of the quarter on planned vs actual. This is the common forum where everyone is able to absorb the latest updates from each team. Evaluating Product and Business metrics for the past month is also part of this forum.
- Zestful Evenings – Brainstorming ideas/understanding your user pain points/ solving problems all goes into this slot, and that’s what makes the evening high spirited. These many external stakeholders Razorpay deals with:
- Card networks
- Gateway Providers
- EMI and Pay later Providers
Each of the above will have multiple providers and product managers need to work together with them in a collaborative approach to resolve the pain points of the merchant. These meetings will have some of the brightest brains of the financial sector in India and it gives immense pleasure to hear them on how different products have been conceptualized to make life easy for merchants to accept payments online and on the other hand making the infra more secure for end customers.
Customer Conversations – Building a champion product is only possible when you hear out your customers quite often, in fact, make it a habit to know them closely. Customer-first is one of the core values at Razorpay and that’s the secret why it’s the preferred choice for businesses for accepting Payments online. Someway or the other, every product manager at Razorpay ensures to their customers every day, it could be via:
- Escalation from a frustrated customer
- Cross-selling new products to existing customers
- Help Sales rep to crack a new deal
- Customer support tickets
- Social media mentions.
- Scheduled feedback sessions with key merchants.
- Workshops with merchants to improvise their conversion.
GTM and Impact Assessment – There is a mindset prevalent in the industry that PM’s job ends with the launch of the product, which doesn’t stand true. When a product is signed up for a quarter, there is a significant cost and impact attached to it that has been agreed by all the stakeholders and owned by the entire team. Product Manager being the driver of the feature creates a go-to-market strategy with a clearly defined plan and direction for all stakeholders to drive maximum impact from the feature launch. This involves various phases of rollout with clear criteria for increasing the rollout. Metric dashboards are created upfront to monitor the data closely and take further actions. The product manager along with the help of a Product analyst does the impact assessment of every product/feature launch and the same is presented to monthly review discussions. Scenarios where the product is not able to create the expected impact are also discussed and RCA is published for the same.
One of the many reasons Razorpay consistently brings innovative, business-impacting products to market is because of the collaborative work we do in Product Management. With a clear focus on simplifying the payments, product managers closely work with multiple stakeholders to build world-class products. In order to manage the day mentioned above, a typical product manager needs to have:
- Customer Empathy
- The data-oriented approach towards solving any problem
- Decision-making power
- Structured problem-solving skills.