A conversation with TaskRay VP of Product and Marketing, Jamie Cole
With TaskRay’s June 2019 release came new groundbreaking capabilities for executives and leaders. The ideas behind this release have been in the works for the last year, and one of the people at the helm has been our VP of Marketing & Product Jamie Cole. In today’s blog, Jamie gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the ideation and product innovation processes behind this release.
How did the idea behind the June 2019 Executive Insights release come to be?
Last summer, we began surveying our client base in an effort to help us better understand what our customers valued in our product, and what we could expand upon. One of our big “a-ha” moments in talking to our customers was a story that we heard over and over again.
Our customers had been able to go along with a sort-of cobbled together system, whether it was spreadsheets or Google Sheets or some off-platform, low-cost system for their onboarding and customer journey mapping. But the first time something went wrong and they needed to present information to an executive or a leader about what was going on, the pain of not having a true system with analytics built-in made them realize they needed to switch to something else. So we knew we wanted to introduce even more ways to give our customers access to the insights that they need.
What is the product innovation process like at TaskRay, and specifically with this release?
It’s a mix of us really knowing the market and being a leader, but it’s also mixed with what our customers are saying. We are constantly working toward the goal of getting everyone to be able to do onboarding well. We are always listening. We get a lot of ideas from our ideas forum and customer feedback. This release, in particular, is very innovative and comes from us knowing where to step up and set a precedent of how it should be, but it’s still based on practical feedback and what our customers need.
Additionally, one of the interesting things about building TaskRay is that we also use TaskRay to onboard our own customers. We’re always actively using our own product. Whenever we do a release, one of the first things we do is get user feedback both internally in our own office and externally from our customers. And for this particular release, we actually interviewed our CEO and our VP of Sales and Customer Success about what metrics they couldn’t currently get access to and what pain points currently existed. We thought that if we could build something to solve their issues, it could solve other executives’ pain points as well.
What were the primary drivers of this release and how will it affect your customers?
This is the most strategic release that we’ve ever done. We are really building a tool that allows everyone at the organization to drive first-class onboarding, and each user persona now derives value from TaskRay. We had a lot of very important data that wasn’t readily available to the executives and leaders who need those insights to make business decisions about where to invest, when to hire and what areas they need to focus on if there's a problem.
The handoff functionality in this release was designed to generate the data that would feed the reports that allowed these types of people to get a 10,000 foot view of all their projects. It helps people detect the health of a business process and then drill down into where problems are and come up with solutions quickly.
There’s really this highly innovative duality at work in this release because the handoff functionality adds more built-in structure to people using TaskRay as an onboarding tool, while at the same time generating rich information and insights for executives.