Until recently, product update meetings at Hudl sucked. They didn’t used to, but that’s one cost of growing a product team of 10 to a team of 40. We promised a brief, 5-minute update of what we’d been working on. Instead, we presented a 15-minute barrage of words, hand-wavings, and most shockingly, no demonstrations of actual software. Plus, if you couldn’t make the update meeting, you were SOL.
Those problems led us to try out a new video format for our weekly updates.
Product Update Video Format
The video is an edited compilation of quick software demos for every squad (“squad” is our term for a small, cross-functional team). A one-minute time constraint forces squads to focus on the most impactful work. The video provides a high-level update for everybody that they can watch whenever they have time.
That’s important because our Coach Relations team (support and account management for Hudl) can’t always attend our product update meetings. They’re the ones on the front lines with our coaches every day. Before this video, they were often surprised by changes that were released a day or two prior.
The project manager for each squad records the videos using Snagit. We try to keep consistent aspect ratios and use the same headset microphones for better sound. Outside of this consistency, we emphasize trying to do single takes and avoiding tons of post-production. Twenty minutes is all it takes to record and edit a great 1-minute video.
Watch an Example Video
Here’s an example of one we did recently:
An unintended bonus is that we’re now tracking our product’s history. A year from now we’ll be able to go see which failed feature had us really excited at the time.
Things change quickly for a growing company. With every failure we learn a little more and are able to build something better. We treat our process just like our product–it’s always improving. Recording a video and sharing it instead of just talking about our work is a simple change that has had a big impact on our teams’ communication.
Does anybody else have a cool way to keep the company updated on what you’re building?