Product

Always be shipping product, culture.

Who are we?

We strive to deliver the right thing, the right way. The Product chapter serves as stewards who guide a product from concept to delivery. We craft the vision that turns ideas into reality.

Great products are born of great teams.

We empower, organize, communicate, and collaborate with people to build great teams. We remove blockers, give cover, and find a way to enable each member of our team to deliver. We build relationships and establish trust so our partners embrace 18F’s culture and values.

We lead and manage our teams’ process. We ensure that the mission is well defined and achievable. We use agile methodologies to ensure we have effective teams that are responsive to change and continuously delivering.

We help our teams focus on delivering the right product for a given problem. To do this, we employ iterative, human-centered design techniques to refine product visions and communicate to establish a shared understanding. In all engagements, we make strategic decisions to help teams focus on the most valuable work and stay on budget and within constraints.

In short, we own the vision and success for our initiatives. We’re there from the beginning, and at the end of the day, we deliver.

How can we help?

We’re here to understand your problem and deliver the right product: be that a digital service, a process, an internal project, or another solution. Here’s what we can offer you:

Leadership: We lead agile, cross-functional teams to create products that surprise, delight, and serve the American people. We are servant-leaders who empower, enable and unblock our teams, and inspire them toward a common goal.

Product development: We serve the full spectrum of product development, from individual engagements to end-to-end product development:

  • Discovery: We lead teams following user-centered design methods to collect data, conduct interviews, and seek to better understand the problem. We analyze market fit and scope and make recommendations on the best next steps for our partners.
  • Prototyping: Drawing on this research, we collaborate with designers, developers, and partners to focus concepts into actionable user stories and visual examples of the user journey. We test our prototypes with real users to collect actionable feedback.
  • Testing and UX research: We help manage the execution, timeline, and budget for effective research plans. This allows us to understand user pain points and pinpoint how to improve the product.
  • Building the MVP: We view our initial products as MVPs — minimum viable products. MVPs allow us to see how users interact with our products. Our observations inform future designs and development plans.
  • Evolving the product: Once a project is launched and live, we lead teams that deliver continuous feature development and quality product experiences. We work with partners to collect citizen feedback and metrics, and use this data to best serve the public.
  • Creating enduring value: We help with the technological and cultural transition to empower our partners to grow and sustain the product beyond our team’s efforts. We execute transitions to partners or acquisitions, build our work into shared platforms, and train partners in skills needed to ensure ongoing success.

Relationship Management: We provide a clear point of accountability and ownership for project delivery and client relationships. We ensure projects are delivered within budget and according to the terms of the agreement, build trust-filled relationships with our partners, and spread 18F’s culture.

Finding a Way: We find a way to move from your needs to solutions, and from your goals to a reality. We build the bridge from a vision to delivered results.

If you have any questions, you can find us on Slack in #product, or ping @product-team from any channel.


Joining the Product team

Checklist

Here’s the list of things to do during your first week on the Product team.

Please note that you might not have much assigned work during your first week here. That’s okay and expected. If you’ve gotten all the government onboarding items done and a project still hasn’t landed, you have two options - shadow a Product Lead on a current project or work on an internal project that isn’t funded but that will help us all work better together. Talk to the Director of Product and your onboarding buddy to get more information about how you can get involved with pairing or an internal project.

Product lead guide

The product lead guide serves as a handbook for new product team members. It has details about the roles a product lead might play, along with lots of helpful information about the delivery lifecycle.