How NxtStep helped one of our team members to develop into a product leader for the organization

How Canary Compliance was able to develop a product leader from within the organization who worked together with NxtStep to develop invaluable product resources and offer leadership for the team.

Industry: Technology – Environmental Services

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Focus: Fuel distribution

Specialties: IoT, Data, underground storage tanks

Company Bio:

In 2011, an environmental consulting firm in Philadelphia built a software product to remotely monitor fuel tanks at gas stations for leaks, alarms, and inventory. Over time, the firm’s owners recognized the market opportunity that effective remote tank monitoring presented, and decided to spin out, modernize, and scale the software business.

In early 2016, Canary Compliance was reborn. Since then, the product and platform have been dramatically transformed, with high-tech breakthroughs in hardware and software helping secure clients and partners across the United States. We are excited to share our innovations with the retail fuels industry to support cost-effective, data-driven compliance!

Overview

Canary Compliance was facing scaling challenges related to achieving product/market fit and implementing a consistent software development process when they decided to engage NxtStep.  

 

Struggling to balance existing customer needs and positive market feedback about new feature ideas, Canary realized the need to become more proactive and disciplined with the product development cycle.

Sean did a great job engaging with our team from the outset. He worked hard to listen and understand our existing procedures, protocols, and personnel in order to help us transition smoothly to a more efficient process without needing to reinvent the wheel. He kept us on track over the course of our engagement with his disciplined approach. Thank you Sean!

Jon Kelly
Founder & CEO, Canary Compliance

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 Quantifiable Results

Steps Achieved

Step 1

Developed a product management training program

Step 2

Created the first official version of the product roadmap

Step 3

Implemented sprint planning process improvements

Step 4

Developed a product feature prioritization process

Step 5

Performed customer discovery to identify problems worth solving

The Challenge

The Canary team wished to pursue a product development strategy that effectively aligned the wants and needs of both current and future customers. When NxtStep began its engagement, Canary’s product development process was heavily skewed towards specific customers rather than towards some new, recently identified, and attractive target segments. Additionally, Canary lacked experienced product leadership, creating uncertainty around the direction of their product. The team wanted validation that their product development efforts would satisfy both existing and future customer demands.

The Approach

NxtStep began by engaging with the Canary’s designated product lead to conduct its Discovery process to identify how product development operated currently. We identified a number of initiatives to pursue that would help Canary solve their challenges and become more proactive. The list below are some of the initiatives that were implemented successfully with NxtStep’s support and guidance:

  • Consolidated the productivity tools and systems in use
  • Built and implemented product management training plan
  • Created an official product roadmap as the “source of truth”
  • Implemented improvements to sprint planning process
  • Built a product feature prioritization process
  • Implemented customer interview process
  • Built system for quantifying the value of product features

The Solution

As a result of the services of the NxtStep team, Canary realized many benefits. Significant time savings was found by eliminating process waste. This gave time back to team members across the organization. Production capacity was increased from removing ad-hoc approaches and replacing them with effective, documented processes. Some of the details of the positive outcome from our engagement can be found in the list below.

  • 75% reduction in time spent in regular planning sessions
  • 25% increase in product development capacity with no increase in headcount
  • First-hand validation from customers regarding the direction of the product
  • Dramatic reduction on back and forth between team members regarding product direction
  • Increased confidence and performance of product leadership
  • Time saved at the executive level which was repurposed towards company planning

Sean did a great job engaging with our team from the outset. He worked hard to listen and understand our existing procedures, protocols, and personnel in order to help us transition smoothly to a more efficient process without needing to reinvent the wheel. He kept us on track over the course of our engagement with his disciplined approach. Thank you Sean!

Jon Kelly
Founder & CEO, Canary Compliance

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