Meet Dineo Ramokoena, a Product Manager at 24.com. Here she takes us through a typical day in her working life, and lets us know about the daily challenges and surprises that keep her inspired and motivated .
Hi Dineo, to start with, can you shed some light on what your job as a Product Manager at 24.com entails?
As a Product Manager at 24.com, my work focuses mainly in the maintenance and management of Media24's main consumer brands - News24, Netwerk24, SNL24, Landbou, etc. - across the various platforms (web, apps). A lot of my work is around gathering the requirements from the various brands, along with their users, to better understand if any potential issues or challenges are currently being faced. Once these have been identified we then need to start discussions with our various teams - the engineers, the UX designers, data science, Dev Ops and QA, to align on both the requirements as well as potential fixes and solutions.
And there is a lot of research as well. We need to be researching the latest trends, the big tech announcements throughout the industry and especially the 3rd party solutions in development, which may or may not assist us in a specific way. Ultimately it's about problem solving. Ensuring that all our product-related issues are resolved and communicated to the relevant stakeholders.
So then what does a typical day in your shoes look like?
It's difficult to say because my day is anything but typical. Every day brings a new series of challenges and problems, which I'm constantly working towards improving. But as atypical as it can be, it's important to have a structure in place.
This is because we work on consumer-facing products, where things are constantly changing across the various mobile and web platforms. So you need to have a timeline and plan to approach each day in place. Each project that we work on is so unique and different (subscriptions, games, advertising), you have to research and be engaged throughout its lifecycle. You have to drive the whole product development lifecycle.
So much of our job is about communication. In understanding the solution, clarifying, working with other partners. There are also a lot of meetings. But meetings are where you communicate with your team best, it's where you exchange ideas and gain inspiration. So it's always important to keep those lines of communication up.
How does your team's work benefit subscribers and users?
Throughout the day we are constantly testing, enhancing and changing our products, all for the benefit of the end user. We look at where their pain points are, whether it's billing, navigation or something else, and we discuss what tech we can deploy to give them a better experience.
How do you find your experience at 24.com overall?
My experiences at 24.com over the past year and a half have truly emphasised the company's unwavering commitment to its people. It feels like being welcomed into a whole new family.
When you join a large team with an extensive range of products and services, it's natural to initially feel overwhelmed by the multitude of faces and structures. However, at 24.com, I've had the privilege of rapidly acquiring knowledge because everyone has consistently offered their assistance. There's always someone ready and willing to lend a helping hand whenever it's needed. It's truly remarkable to be a part of a company where they authentically embody their core values. Talking about fostering a positive culture is one thing, but it's an entirely unique and gratifying experience to be a part of a company that genuinely lives and breathes that culture.
Lastly, what keeps you inspired and motivated in your role?
Working in the media industry is incredibly fulfilling because it allows you to operate and create within a sphere where you can provide valuable content that caters to our users' needs. Collaborating across diverse brands and mobile platforms provides a profound understanding of the extensive reach of our content.
My day always starts with the latest news. Even before I get up from bed, I check News24 on my phone. In essence, I'm ensuring the site's functionality and the smooth operation of all our sites. I take pride in viewing things through the users' perspective, stepping into their shoes to evaluate what works effectively and what could benefit from refinement.
I also love that I am able to balance my personal life with my working life. I have that time to spend with my family and am given that freedom because the company has faith in me and my abilities.