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“Value in New Ideas” | Behind the Scenes with the Rhombus Product Team

September 21, 2022

In this edition of our Behind the Scenes with Rhombus series, we meet with Rickey Cox and Haley Miller, two members of the Rhombus Product Team.

We sat down with Rickey and Haley to learn more about their perspectives on product management, the process of innovation, and the role of feedback and collaboration in implementing new ideas.

How would you describe your team’s role at Rhombus?

Rickey: To ensure we continuously provide value to customers while meeting our business objectives. That may be launching new products, releasing new features, or improving experiences, but typically requires having a deep understanding of customers, as well as where we’re heading as a business, then leading with that context.

Haley: The Product Team at Rhombus synthesizes product and process feedback in many forms and uses it to inform product development choices. This often means balancing multiple goals, such as satisfying customers and making progress on the company roadmap.

Rickey Cox is the Director of Product, and Haley Miller is an Associate Product Manager at Rhombus.

What does an average day at Rhombus look like for you?

Rickey: I’m not sure there’s an average day for me, but first, coffee! Then I would say it typically leans toward current priorities and supporting the teams as needed then balancing it out with customer feedback and product planning, all of which are very collaborative at Rhombus.

Haley: I can’t say there is such a thing as an average day for me at Rhombus. You can frequently find me creating data visualizations of how customers use our products, brainstorming solutions to customer requests, or talking to people across departments and gathering product feedback--all in an effort to inform our prioritization decisions.

Which teams do you most often collaborate with?

Rickey: Collaboration between Product, Design and Engineering is fundamental to delivering products and experiences customers love.

Together, we ensure there’s value in new ideas, we know what’s feasible early on, and we iterate to find the most useful ways of bringing the experiences to the customer.

Haley: I’d say we most often work with engineering, sales engineering and marketing. These interactions come at various stages of the product lifecycle, but we value transparency between teams and are in near constant contact with all.

How do you decide which new products to prioritize?

Rickey: I often stress the importance of feedback, big or small, and from as many sources as possible, as a way of informing product decisions over time.

Ideally, we’re looking for things that are aligned with our strategy and bring value to our customers and the business, but there is no one way or process. We’ll consider deal-breakers along with pain points from customers, and always re-evaluate.

Haley: There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that we consider when prioritizing feature developments. The level of importance to a customer, how closely aligned with our company goals, and resources available are all aspects that we are constantly evaluating to plan which projects we will tackle next.

What do you most enjoy about the work you do at Rhombus?

Rickey: What I enjoy most is the way our teams come together to deliver for our customers, regardless of what else is going on. Our team had been heads down developing the recently released Alarm Monitoring product for several months when there was an opportunity to break out a few features to deliver earlier on. The team could have considered this a distraction but responded without hesitation to meet an immediate need for customers.

Haley: I love how many different teams I get to interact with. I get to go from talking with engineers about the feasibility of a certain feature development to speaking with sales about what prospective customers are looking for in an enterprise video surveillance solution to working with customer success to follow up about any enhancements we have made to our products.

Currently, I am working on identifying and tracking the top reasons a customer visits our mobile app so that we can design a path that is as seamless as possible.

What did you do prior to joining Rhombus, and how did you end up here?

Rickey: I spent the last few years in Product Management at an Insurtech startup, working on a direct-to-consumer product focused on recognizing and rewarding good driving behaviors. It was a good experience at a company with a great mission, but I didn’t see it as a good fit for me longer term.

I worked with a few early Rhombus team members previously and kept in touch, and the timing was finally right when I joined late last year.

Haley: Before Rhombus, I was a remote Business Intelligence Analyst for a semiconductor equipment company. This job gave me a lot of product manager-esque experience, so I knew it was a career I was interested in pursuing. I discovered Rhombus on a job board and was won over by the opportunity to work in a fast-paced startup environment and the incredible people that work here.

How have your unique experiences and insights made you successful in your career and at Rhombus?

Rickey: I think just having a lot of experience in software and technology products has made a difference, both successes and failures. A key learning I’ve picked up along the way is that I personally may not represent the customer in terms of their needs, so it’s important to be open to many sources of feedback.

In our case at Rhombus, listening to sales, partner, and customer feedback but also understanding how they’re interacting with our products helps to inform good decisions.

Haley: Product Managers frequently wear many hats between acting as researchers, product designers, and team leaders. I like to think my varied background in tech and business gave me a great launching point to dive into the product team at Rhombus. That said, I am constantly learning.

Do you have any work routines or rituals?

Rickey: Did I mention coffee? I typically just have a cup in the morning, but I would say it’s a ritual. Other than that, I wouldn’t say I’m too structured other than making time for things that aren’t urgent; otherwise, I’d be stuck in reactive mode.

Haley: I wouldn’t say I have any routines or rituals, but I do prefer two things. One: my brain works best in the morning, so I like to schedule my most important tasks before lunch—be it meetings or solo work. Two: A change of scenery helps me focus so, I’ll move from my desk, to a couch, to an open meeting room over the course of a day.

What can we find you doing outside of work? Hobbies or interests?

Rickey: I have a 2 ½ year old daughter who keeps me busy these days, so swim classes and that sort of thing take up much of the free time. The family does like to get out into nature, beach, hiking, camping, and regional and national parks so we typically try to plan those sorts of activities throughout the year, mostly in the warmer months.

Haley: I like to get outside and moving every chance I get, be it through hiking, backpacking, playing soccer in the park, or just sitting in the sun. I am currently training for the California International Marathon in December.

What Rhombus value resonates with you the most?

Rickey: Always hard to pick one but I’d lean towards “One Team” … Rhombus is very collaborative, and the teams come together nicely to accomplish our goals. I’ve had some early successes and it’s due in large part to the “one team” culture around me.

Haley: All of the Rhombus values align with my own—it's one of the reasons I chose to work here—but I have to say that One Team is the value that keeps me excited to innovate and feeling supported. Even though Rhombus has grown tremendously, we have maintained the feeling of being a small, interconnected team where everyone is always willing to help.

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