Merry Christmas everyone!
We’re going to get into the festive spirit with this special edition Christmas challenge. I’ve taken this challenge from Diego Granados, Senior PM at Microsoft.
You may recall the Halloween challenge Diego posted that we responded to. Well now, we have a very special Christmas customer to help!
“One day Mr. Claus comes to you, a Product Manager at “Rudolph’s Sleigh inc”, to share his experience with the product he bought from you. Mr. Claus complains that:
Because the sleigh’s only functionality is to transport, he has to park on the roof of every single building and get into every single home in a rush. Every year… he barely makes it in time. Mr. Claus is not getting younger, and he’d like to have a better/easier way to deliver the gifts (or coal) from the sleigh.
While riding mid air, he has to keep track of the map, the houses he’s visited, cross names off the list and make sure the reindeer are on course. All this while riding up in the sky and wind blowing in the face. Mr. Claus complaints that he only has two hands and can’t do everything at the same time.
As the Product Manager of “Rudolph’s Sleigh Inc”, how would you improve Mr. Claus’ sleigh?”
Product In Heels Exclusive With Santa
We were lucky to get an exclusive Zoom interview with Mr. Claus at this busy time of year. We’ve dug into his problems and need your help to solve them!
Amy: “It’s an honour to meet you Mr. Claus! I love staying up late on Christmas Eve until I see your sleigh glide across the Sydney sky!”
Mr. Claus: “Ho ho ho! Thank you Amy, I’m a real fan of Product In Heels. I must say, I’m a bit worried about reaching Sydney this year with my backlog of deliveries. I can’t keep up!”
Amy: “Well as you know Mr. Claus, by day I’m a Product Manager at Rudolph’s Sleigh Inc and I’m personally handling your account. I know you had some feedback about our “Blitzen 3000” model and the Product In Heels community is here to help.
Can you walk us through a typical night on the job?”
Mr. Claus: “Well, the magic begins in the factory at the North Pole where the elves work tirelessly to fill my sleigh with all of the gifts and coal. However the load is no problem, the Blitzen 3000’s state of the art engine can handle it.”
(Great, that’s one logistical problem we don’t need to solve!)
Amy: “That’s great! And once the sleigh is loaded what would you do?”
Mr Claus: “Once the last gift is loaded and secured the reindeer make their dash into the sky. The cruise to my first stop is my favourite time of the night. It’s so peaceful. Of course, only I know the exact route of my deliveries ho ho ho! But when I land on the first house that’s when the real problems start.”
Amy: How so?
Mr Claus: “Well, with the time zones you can probably guess Australia and New Zealand are early in my route. I have to deliver presents to 8.3 million houses in Australia in one night. But do you know how many have a flat roof and a chimney? Not enough!
There are so many things that slow me down. I have to park my sleigh on an angle, the hot tiles burn the reindeer hooves and I waste time trying to find a door or window to get into the houses! Can you do anything to improve my Blitzen 3000 so I can save time on parking?”
Amy: “Ok Mr. Claus, I think we can do that. I’ll get some of the Product In Heels team in to analyse these issues asap.”
Team 1: Your Challenge
Find our best product and engineering people and let’s get to work. We can’t change the roof style but maybe we can come up with some sleigh designs that will give Mr. Claus and his reindeer more comfort.
Perhaps some stabilisers on the sleigh? Or AstroTurf that rolls out on impact for the reindeer? Don’t forget the time issues as well. Maybe an app that reveals all the door and window locations? I’ll leave it to you guys to brainstorm more ideas.
Amy: “So once you find a parking spot and an entry point, what do you do?”
Mr Claus: “This is the part I hate. I love bringing joy to so many children around the world but I’m not getting any younger. Getting their presents out of my sleigh is a nightmare.
The elves are methodical creatures but there are so many presents that we lose all sense of order in the sleigh. I have to climb up on to the back and rummage through the pile to find the right presents. Sometimes I get it wrong but don’t tell anyone that! Ho ho ho!”
Amy: “So what I’m hearing is that your elves have no easy way to pack your sleigh in an order that will follow your schedule of deliveries. And you have no way to quickly and easily grab them out at each stop?”
Mr. Claus: “That’s right Amy. Your website said the Blitzen 3000 would “make gift delivery a breeze” but it hasn’t. I would return it right now but it’s already Christmas Eve! I could add you to the naughty list though…ho ho ho!”
Amy: “There’s no need for that! We’re onto it Mr. Claus!”
Team 2: Your Challenge
Pull that statement from our website asap!
We need to find a way to build in a feature on the Blitzen 3000 that allows for easy gift stacking and to schedule the deliveries. Maybe we should reach out to our friends at Amazon or Woolies first? They have some good systems in place for their deliveries…
Amy: “Now, there’s something we’d all love to know Mr. Claus. How do you manage to deliver so many gifts in one night?!”
Mr. Claus: “Ho ho ho! Why, by fueling up on cookies and VB stubbies of course!
Truthfully, it’s getting more difficult every year. These kids want more and more, my workload is getting bigger and I can hardly keep track of which houses I’ve been to. The Blitzen 3000 can take me around the world, but it lacks the GPS technology I have in my snow mobile back home.”
Amy: “Yes, the Blizten 3000 was primarily designed to be a transport power house. We’re honoured though that you’ve chosen it as you’re vehicle of choice for Christmas deliveries. Can you tell me more about why you need a GPS tracker?”
Mr. Claus: “Well you see, the problem at the moment is that I’m relying on good old fashioned maps. But the Australian governments are continuously changing the city plans! I don’t know which way is up or down anymore.
It gets really stressful trying to guide my reindeer and read a map in the darkness of the night. If the Blizten 3000 could help me to see where I am and where I need to go, it would save a lot of stress and time.”
Amy: “We can definitely help with that. I’ll get another team onto it now.”
Team 3: Your Challenge
Let’s work closely with team 1 & 2 on this. Listening to Mr. Claus, we need an automated system that can help to load the deliveries, map out the stops, find an entry point and track where Santa has been.
Maybe we can use this a marketing opportunity to broadcast the tracker to the world so they can follow Santa on Christmas Eve? Let me know how you go.
Amy: “Mr. Claus, thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you and improve your Blitzen 3000 experience. Is there anything else you’d like to share before we let you get back to the workshop?”
Mr. Claus: “Thank you Amy and Product In Heels! I’ll need my new Blitzen 3000 by tonight to meet the Christmas deliveries. Do you think you can do that?”
Amy: “Anything to be on the nice list! We’ll have a working prototype by you tonight. We’ll need to interview you again after Christmas so we can make further improves in 2022.”
Mr. Claus: “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!”
Thanks everyone for your support of Product In Heels in 2021!
I hope you enjoyed this special edition Christmas post! Let me know in the comments how you’d help Santa!
Have a wonderful break and we’ll see you with more product content in 2022.