Current Role: Product Manager
“As the Product Manager for the Tesco Online Shopping websites in Central Europe, I’m responsible for developing the customer experience in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. But when I joined two years ago, I was in a totally different role as a Senior Engineer. I was the first member of the new team created to focus on local customer needs in Central Europe. We were tasked with iterative improvements that would make the online shopping experience more relevant to our specific markets.
It was a fascinating project to get off the ground. But I’ve always been more interested solving customer problems than the technical detail. So after about a year, I was keen to take my career in a different direction. I realised I was most passionate about product management. When I suggested this new path, everyone was genuinely supportive and encouraged me to make the transition.
“The opportunities to learn and progress here are impressive.”
I have a degree in Business IT, which is a mix of software engineering and IT management. So that was a sound foundation. What Tesco offered me was great mentorship from my managers, excellent training and enhanced learning platforms. In fact, I’m about to start a product management course that involves 3.5 hours of training every week for the next 10 weeks. There’s no doubt that the opportunities to learn and progress here are impressive.
Now, I’m in a role that really motivates me. It’s really fulfilling to help simplify something that’s typically an everyday chore, like shopping. We can identify problems and solve them, by observing people’s behaviour on the website. We analyse various data sources to find friction points in the customer journey. Then, we determine what improvements will provide the most value to customers. And we thoroughly test these changes to make sure we’ve achieved our goals.
“The best bit is that our work affects so many people.”
It’s my job to set up priorities and align the customer journey optimisation steps with bigger business initiatives. The aim is to end up with a roadmap the whole business can agree on. I then break that down into smaller chunks, making sure the team understands the context so they can deliver the smaller pieces that help achieve our long-term goals. The best bit is that our work affects so many people – even a lot of people I know. The scale and immediacy gives me a real sense of accomplishment.
“The international nature of the business is something I like a lot.”
I actually have two teams. The front-end team that's building the website itself is located in Budapest and India. And the team that provides the back-end services is based mostly in the UK and Spain. The international nature of the business is something I like a lot, it makes for a more stimulating environment. I also work with everyone from data analysts and designers to marketing specialists, other engineering teams and other product managers.
It’s up to me to act as an interface between critical parts of the business. This is particularly important because the team is so new. I’ve been concentrating on building a really collaborative culture to help us work as effectively as possible with each other and other stakeholders.
“The more we understand each other’s goals, the more we can help each other out.”
My current focus is to increase the transparency of the team’s work for all the stakeholders. And I want to build close connections with other product managers and their teams. We’re all working on the same e-commerce platform. So, the more we understand each other’s goals, the more we can help each other out.
When we’re making improvements for our own markets, we need to ask ‘Could this be relevant for another market? Could they test it there too?’ For me, I guess what's most exciting about my role is being able to build relationships. And as a result, drive change. I think that aspect is hard to beat.”
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