July 23, 2019

Behind the product scenes, Part I: people power

Luis Ouriach
Lead Designer

We’re moving fast at Upgrade Pack. In 12 months, we’ve scaled from our CEO Craig registering the company domain, to a 23-strong team spanning across sales, marketing, product, technology and operations.

Not only has hiring based on talent shaped how we’ve met our targets, we’ve ensured that our teams are built in a way that encourages knowledge sharing and collaboration. Regular all-hands meetings in the office help to encourage our employees to share their knowledge – we’re all experts in our fields, and sometimes insights into other jobs can help you solve problems in your own.

In a practical sense, the product team have been through a large scale transition period over the past three months, with the team doubling from three to six people, and the tech team growing too, including more awesome full-stack developers for us to collaborate with to progress the web and mobile versions of our app as we head towards launch. With such pace afoot, having a dedicated product manager in the team to make the transition from product to design to tech a lot smoother. Alongside our industry standard agile practices having a central product ‘taskmaster’ ensures we’re all moving in the same direction.

Daily catch ups (standups) between the product and tech teams keep everyone in the loop, and weekly meetings for key feature decisions help us to plan ahead; if we have questions we facilitate them in a shared environment and document them for others to read.

For the design-side of things, we keep our own to-do list (backlog), which is visited once a week with the wider product team. Here we’ll discuss what we’ve been working on, what we plan to complete over the coming week and if there are any tasks currently blocked in our workflow; perhaps we’re waiting for other decisions to be made before we can progress.

Frequent meetings may sound like we’re spending a lot of time ‘not working’, but tightening up our communication and workflows ultimately benefit the entire team and wider company, allowing us to deliver more efficiently and on brief. For us each are critical components of the pathway to a strong launch.

Since introducing our cross-functional catchups, we’ve stormed ahead in terms of progress and managed to deliver the Beta version of Upgrade Pack, have recruited additional design resource, and are already working on integrations of the app with our next batch of partners.

The benefit for us of hiring employees with a growth mindset is that we are in a great position to shift and shape our processes to cater for the task at hand.

Something not working? We’ll happily revisit and adjust accordingly.

Something working? We’ll share it with the wider team over lunch and celebrate our wins.


Want to help us build an industry first travel tech product? We’re hiring.

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