Life at Springworks: A day in the life of a Product Manager

Each day, everyone at Springworks comes into work with a true passion for building products and tools for the HR ecosystem. We are artists, innovators, achievers, and dreamers, with a one-track mind to fine-tune the products that we build. Through this series of posts, we showcase our team members, their roles, and what a typical day looks like for them. You can check all the posts here.

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Nisarg Shah joined the team of Springworks remotely in December, 2020. He has done his Master of Science in Business Analytics and information systems from the University  of South Florida and then started his career as a Data Analyst working for a pharmaceutical startup and elevated to a product manager role.

Later on, he also co-founded an omni-channel pet retail company to help pet parents select the best brands for their pets based on a recommended system, where he led the product team there.

After spending four years in South Florida, he came back to India and joined Springworks as a product manager to work for our product EngageWith(Reward and Recognition).

Let’s dive into it right away and take a peek into the life of a Product Manager.

What does your job entail?

I am responsible to translate product strategy for our product EngageWith into planned work that involves defining what the team will deliver and the timeline for implementation. 

This means I am held responsible for managing the release process and dependencies in and across releases to complete release phases and milestones. You coordinate all of the activities required to bring new functionality to market. This involves bridging gaps between different functions within the company and aligning key teams – namely marketing, sales, and customer support.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I love to work on the scope of the product such as what features we should add on, which ones to prioritize on going forward. 

I also love being able to groom the development team, and to work with multiple stakeholders.

I’m sure working as a product manager must present a unique set of challenges. What are those challenges and how do you go about solving them?

Context switching is one of the major challenges. When you jump between tasks, tools, or projects, it impacts your productivity, focus, and happiness. 

Since our workdays are becoming more and more fragmented. Between always-on tools like Slack and always-available distractions, it’s rare to get more than 20 minutes of uninterrupted focus.

To overcome this challenge, carving out your time and blocking calendar is a systematic scheduling approach where I break my day up into ‘blocks’ of time. Each block is assigned a specific task so that instead of trying to cram work into the slivers of time between meetings and emails, I know exactly what needs to be done and when. 

How important is communication for you?

Communication is a very important skill to have for a product manager. It becomes crucial, especially when you are working in a remote setting. That’s exactly when productivity tools such as Slack and Trello come in handy.

Walk us through a day in the life of Nisarg!

  • Wake up at 5 am
  • Go for a run
  • Have breakfast
  • Start working at 9 am
  • Check slack & emails
  • Team discussion
  • Have lunch
  • Work until 5 pm 
  • Go for a workout
  • Dinner at 7 pm
  • Team communication if required
  • Read books in free time
  • Spend some time with family
  • Head to sleep

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I like to run. I’ve participated in a couple of 5Ks runs in Florida, US. Running is a hobby that I discovered in 2020 itself. 

I also enjoy reading non-fiction. I’ve read books such as The Psychology of money by Morgan Housel and Beginning of infinity by David Deutsch.

What is the Springworks team like?

I’ve spent four years in the US, and the work culture there is friendly and people-centric, but when I came back to India, I didn’t expect organizations to be as progressive as the US in terms of work culture. However, working at Springworks completely changed this mindset for me. 

People here are super progressive and approachable. Communication is always open and views are welcomed here, which I love the most. Moreover, Springworks is an employer-centric organization willing to work for the “future of work” and is standing out in terms of work culture and progressiveness.

What advice would you give to someone seeking the same line of work?

Make sure to always take a generalist approach in your professional life, which means to be involved working on the parts while paying attention to the whole,, being connected by sustaining relationships and having a broad base of knowledge while being grounded in specific information.

The role of a product manager has different facets and you will meet people with different opinions and ideas. Make sure to always go by the “Strong opinions, loosely held” framework which I learned at Springworks.

Also, always start your question with why! And always be curious to learn more because curiosity is something that score.

Be a part of tangible and actionable communities of product managers. Follow the right people on social media. I personally swear by communities such as “Product folks” and “Product sync”.

Want to join the team? Check out open roles at Springworks.

Priya Bhatt

I cover Employee stories at Springworks.

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