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Episode 2

Process can drive outcomes

Andrew Wallace
Andrew Wallace
Managing Director + CPO at SmileBack

Episode Notes

How to Create a Workable Strategy with a Less Defined Product

How do you define a product to an organization that thinks of its product as operations or food? It is a hard task to create and work with two very different frameworks efficiently.

In this episode of Dreams with Deadlines, Jenny speaks with Andrew Wallace, the managing director and CPO of SmileBack. It is a simple to use customer satisfaction platform that is deep on insight. He is the previous director of product management at Chef’s Plate which was acquired by the German meal company HelloFresh in 2018.

Andrew joined Chef’s Plate as their first director of product and had to quickly learn and execute an improvising strategy around technology backlog and frontend. He shares how tried to illustrate the impact of major decisions on everything else at Chef’s Plate and help make better decisions.

Listen in to learn the importance of identifying risks in the business and realize that they’re just part of your day to day business activities. You will also learn why issues should not be a bad thing but rather a wake-up call and a measure of performance.

“We’d start with customer success very intentionally; we solved a lot of problems for them using technology so we’d offer and be the support basically.” – Andrew Wallace (34:51)

What You Will Learn in this Episode

  • (0:31) Intro
  • (2:28) Andrew explains the differences in his experiences at both Chef’s Plate and SmileBack
  • (6:48) The challenges he and his team experienced when he went in as director of product management at Chef’s Plate which was not his scene
  • (10:37) How he defined product to a company that thought their product was operations or food
  • (13:33) How to make the waterfall cycle and agile frameworks work together efficiently
  • (17:54) The strategy they used to optimize around improving the technology in the backlog and used the information on the frontend to improve it
  • (22:11) The challenges of key metrics that caused misalignment of people and how it led to cultural ramifications
  • (26:31) How he tried to illustrate the opportunity cost- the impact of major decisions on everything else and help make better decisions
  • (31:00) Andrew explains who was interested in acquiring Chef’s Plate before HelloFresh came into the picture
  • (34:44) The amazing customer relationship they had built and how that helped with feedback and creating a system that identified issues
  • (38:51) The tips to manage highly passionate team members through the successes and challenges
  • (41:20) Advice that Andrew would tell his younger self
  • (42:59) The mission of Chef’s Plate of just to make it work plus SmileBack’s simple dream
  • (42:59) Chef’s Plate mission of ‘just making it work’ plus SmileBack’s simple dream

Relevant Links