OSCAR · TEAM GROWTH
At Oscar, the Product organization encompasses Product Managers, Product Operations, and Product Design. At both the Product org level and Design team level, I have been able to contribute to initiatives for processes as well as growth/education.
Healthtech strategy is an organization starter by a four of our product team colleagues a few years ago with the purpose of giving those in our team particularly interested in healthtech, a space to share and discuss industry news. It has grown to include monthly fireside chats that the entire company is welcome to join.
Alongside two other product team members, I have taken the reins over to help organize and facilitate these monthly fireside chats. We have brought in internal employees ranging from individual contributors to our C-suite, as well as invited external guests to come speak with our team. Our steering committee schedules speakers, generates the q&a questions, facilitates the events, and gathers feedback from participants.
In addition to Oscar's company onboarding, the product team has a series of onboarding sessions that we host internally. These sessions are meant to give a broad, high level understanding of all the product pods that exist on our team, and how they relate to each other. One of the onboarding sessions is dedicated to Product Design, which I have led since Q4 2019. When I took over this responsibility, I completely redid the presentation contents and deck (woo Figma!).
The monthly 30 minute sessions provide an overview of our team's structure, our design lifecycle, partnership with our counterparts, all the products we touch, the design system, and working with the Brand team.
With both a personal passion for user research and UXR methods, and a realization that research support for our team was low, I put together a proposal to host UXR Office Hours. For about 8 months, I hosted bi-weekly hour long sessions that product managers and designers alike could sign up for. In these sessions I would help provide feedback on user research methods, interview scripts, or just brainstorm with team members.
We eventually hired our first Design Researchers onto the team, at which point I transitioned these office hour sessions out to them.
In early 2020, coinciding with our offices going fully remote, the design team looked back at our design crit structure and how we could improve it. I create a few proposals that would restructure our crit teams into functional groups (designs who worked on the same type of applications as you), care journey groups (designers who worked on a similar topic area, but different users), or completely random group of designers. I sent out the proposals for feedback from the team of leads, we then solicited feedback from the entire team, and concluded with each designer being assigned two crit groups.
- Functional group - So designers can get application specific feedback, have less context to explain, and working with potentially similar constraints.
- Care journey group - So we can promote cross pollination of ideas that impact our end members at the same points in their user journey.
We are still operating with these crit groups in Q4 of 2021, and seems like the mix of designers you get to work with, and nature of feedback provided has proven to be a beneficial change to our growing team.
Starting early 2020, our design team began trying out quarterly design team retros. On our second retro, I facilitated the conversation by using the tools Retrium and of course, Figma. I facilitated using a modified version of the sailboat retro.
- ⛵️ Sailboat = Our design team! With everyone in the same boat.
- 💨 Wind in the sails = What is motivating the team? What has gone well in the past quarter that has given you energy? What do you think keeps our team moving forward?
- 🌅 Horizon = Where do you want our team to be in the future? What major changes do you want to see happen? How do you hope the design team grows?
- ⚓️ Anchor = What do you feel is dragging you down? What might prevent our team from reaching that horizon? What has happened in the last quarter that has drained your energy or is demotivating?