How to make an office kitchen through a grocery approach

    Hello! I am a product manager in Tutu and I like to tell you that it is important to first understand why you are writing something at all, then formulate requirements for the result, and then do it. I often use office kitchens as an example. Now on the fingers I’ll tell you what a grocery approach is, how to use it to make a kitchen, and what is happening in our real kitchen in the office.

    Every thing has a user. At the kitchen, end users are office employees. They use the kitchen to get value. It is for value that they come. For example, we have a refrigerator for free food: yogurts, various snacks such as carrots, cottage cheese, sausages, pizza and pies, that is, snacks - fast or healthy. There he is:

    Where did he come from? From the simple thought that sometimes people leave the office to eat something outside. The nearest store we have is 10 minutes from the office (taking into account the descent and ascent). It is much cheaper and more practical to bring free food to employees than to waste their time looking for it, albeit not at the expense of the company. At first it was only healthy snacks, but then, as the office grew, sausages began to appear, and for those who sometimes have to wait until the night before release, pizza. At the same time, hot food is not stored here permanently, but comes separately.

    Let's analyze how such a decision could be made at all.

    Above we described the end users. To understand why they need a product, it is necessary to describe what tasks they want to solve. From the kitchen it can be:

    • A place to eat.
    • A conversation for quick meetings when everything else is busy.
    • Sit and do something outside your workplace.
    • Sit with friends in the evening after work.
    • Break off and unwind after a block of work.
    • Pour coffee in order not to fall asleep before a night rollout (this happens about once every two months).

    Since this is our third office and the “kitchen” product intersects with other office products, we already know the limitations of the kitchen and other ways to solve user problems. For example, we will not make a meeting room from the kitchen. We have ordinary meeting rooms and small niches like train compartments are scattered around the office to sit and talk. For those who like to work on the go, there are very small places like an airplane chair, a table and an outlet. Etc.

    As a company, we want the following from the kitchen:

    1. So that people do not carry food to workplaces (this is very distracting and annoying many).
    2. For employees to leave the office less in search of food or for organized lunches, since getting out and entering the building from the 12th floor takes about 10 minutes plus the time to go to the store. The hypothesis is that if we post products for free, we will save those 15–20 minutes that the employee will devote to work.
    3. To make it pleasant to be there, because one of the tasks is comfort in the office. In general, in any place with a sufficient concentration of IT specialists, sooner or later they make coziness, this is an important requirement for reducing turnover.
    4. So that people do not wait near coffee machines, coolers and other nodes, as this directly affects the efficiency of work.

    Cynical objectification: we want maximum production, loyalty and, as a result, money for the company from the kitchen. And this can be done by turning it into a convenient cozy place. If you think in advance.

    Next, we write out the values ​​that we want to receive from the product (this is an incomplete list):

    1. A place where you can eat healthy food every day.
    2. No waiting.
    3. A quick snack is always available.
    4. Keep your food and use shared.
    5. Sit with friends in the evening after work.
    6. Break off and unwind after a block of work.
    7. Hold a meeting with a busy meeting room.
    8. Cozy and relatively cute.


    Now for each value, we prescribe measuring instruments. They must be specific. For example, “no expectation” is “the time to get a glass of coffee should not be more than two minutes” or “the time to drink coffee takes on average no more than 50% of the time to take it and drink it.”

    According to the metrics, you can analyze the number of empty seats, patency, the amount of food falling in the refrigerator in sweets and cookies, its distribution, etc.

    From these measurements, the backlog of the project and the requirements for it are added. Examples of what we got:

    1. If possible, the kitchen should be in the geometric center of the office. The most common request - water - must be addressed at all points in the office by individual coolers:

    2. Six microwaves are needed:

    We calculated the number of microwaves empirically: we extrapolated data on the number of people in the new office (now we are 370 people, of which 170 are IT specialists) and take into account the geometry of the kitchen.

    The coffee machine needs one in terms of speed metrics, but two in terms of user requirements metrics. Because in one - arabica, in the other - a mixture with robusta.

    2-3 syrup options should always be nearby, two points of tea of ​​12 varieties, three types of sugar (regular, cane and sweetener), honey and lemon.

    3. It is most convenient to hire an employee who will wash the dishes and do other things in the kitchen so as not to waste developers' expensive time on this.

    But these things still need to be washed by ourselves:

    We have a lot of common dishes (users both bring their own and use the general office), so the dishwasher should work in the scalding mode with hot steam for disinfection every time.

    4. You can cook yourself. This immediately means a stove and a change in infrastructure requirements (then it’s more difficult to integrate a hood and observe fire safety, so you should think about it when repairing an office):

    5. We monitor user behavior. Most often, they prepared eggs for breakfast, so you need to have eggs and a cooker. You also need to spread the fruits in the morning, in the afternoon - different quick snacks and cookies, and by lunch cut vegetables and greens: all this adds value to users and works on the tasks of the product stakeholders. Nothing personal, this is business.

    6. Product usage metrics suggest three refrigerators.

    7. The most common operation in a new kitchen is moving cookies from the drive to the table. It can be simplified by creating small jars for cookies and other things right on the tables. The specific contents of the drives must be rotated so that people do not get used to the same baking.

    Are you done? Not.

    The next step is product development. There is always a gap between plans and the real world. Users change preferences, behavior, and so on. Major changes happen almost immediately after launch, and smooth changes - constantly as the project develops. This means that the kitchen must have a specific person in charge (and usually this is not an office manager), and he should have metrics on how everything goes well. One of the metrics can be reviews of satisfaction (employees give feedback), and the rest are numerical - in the form of service time, lack of traffic jams, and so on.

    Guzel, head of the AHO , is responsible for our kitchen. She knows, to the nearest kilogram, seasonal variations in fruit consumption, she knows the costs of all liquids and snacks in refrigerators, accurately predicts the demand for different foods (in order to get into the right number of servings of different types when ordering hot) and so on.

    From the experience of supporting the product “kitchen”, she learned the following:

    1. If you try to influence users so that they get used to a healthy diet, and gradually remove the sausage from the assortment of snacks, then the “sausage riot” will rise. Therefore, the compromise is to choose at least meat sausage and other normal products. Introduced porridge.
    2. In the evenings, people linger on a pizza party - we need large tables (we designed them right away, but for another).
    3. Need an interface to order products. This is either a chat on the wall in the spirit of “what else is needed”, or people just come up and say: “Guzel, let's put olive oil”, “We need natural peanut butter”. Yogurts, kefir, cheese, curds were added to the assortment.
    4. The dishes cannot be placed directly in the dishwashers, but must be put in the sink, otherwise the door will simply be broken off. Need load clustering.
    5. Milk caused the most questions. A very long time choosing the optimal brand. As a result, we purchase Parmalat: it was the best according to blind tests of the Rospotrebnadzor laboratory. To taste, it also suits everyone.

    A similar vote was for a bottled water brand.

    Is it possible to shift this approach somewhere else?


    For all. A simple tool from a combination of identifying users, their tasks and the necessary values, building metrics and dividing this into a backlog of tasks gives clarity anywhere.

    Example: here are the performance metrics at the start of a new internal project. Let's say I'm going to make an inspirational speech and recruit people within the company to my team. I have a presentation, but I do not like it. I’m applying the product approach, from it I formulate the tasks that are needed to finalize the presentation:

    It is possible in the family, and anywhere else. The main thing is to remember about three limitations:

    1. All that I have just described is a very superficial vision of the instrument, because the complete methodology is much more extensive and complex. But the main thing I told.
    2. It is not worth it where emotions are involved (for example, in the family) to talk about exactly how you came to your conclusions. Because the fact that for many is a nice cozy kitchen is, for us, a commercial tool with measurable effectiveness. But it’s much nicer not to mention it again.
    3. There are projects / products where you do not want to count the metrics of achieving the goal, because you like the process. Then just enjoy it.

    If you are interested in more about the product approach in relation to everything, I can recommend a Marty Cagan book entitled Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love and a make sense podcast .

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