Download our guide on Design & Technology trends for 2024

Genchi Gembutsu: How Observation Drives Success in Product Management

An Interview with Allen Eskridge on how to deliver successful software products using key product management principles.

In this interview, we explore the world of product management through the lens of Allen Eskridge, one of Unosquare’s Senior Product Managers. From his fortuitous journey from customer service to product management to his passion for delivering exceptional value to clients, Allen shared with us his insights into the art and science of product management. 

Through design and development projects like the Evans Group and Solid Lives, Allen talks about how he and his team deliver on client projects by understanding user needs, embracing innovation, and leveraging the Japanese philosophy of “Genchi Gembutsu,”  a Japanese principle or an approach used by Toyota to successfully deliver products. 

The term, Genchi Gembutsu, stands for “going to and directly observing” a location and its conditions in order to understand and solve problems faster and more effectively. Allen uses this approach with clients to rapidly iterate on concepts and to ensure the products we are delivering meet the clients’ expectations and user’s needs. Read on to learn about Allen’s journey and his principles to successfully deliver on customer engagements.

About Allen Eskridge:

Allen Eskridge is a senior product manager at Unosquare, and he brings years of experience and a unique background to his role. Allen started his career in customer service. While in a leadership position in customer service, Allen was asked to be part of a software improvement project. Over time he found that he was naturally gathering requirements and running what was essentially lean product management. His deep understanding of customer needs naturally led him into product management, where he now excels at bridging the gap between user needs and expectations and technological solutions.

Q: Tell me about what you do for Unosquare?

A: As a product manager at Unosquare, my role revolves around leading a squad of talented individuals, including technical leads, developers, designers, QA specialists, and sometimes researchers. Our team works closely with clients, tackling various projects and challenges, ensuring that we deliver products that not only meet but exceed expectations.

Q: What do you love about product management?

A: What I love most about product management is the people. Delivering products that add exceptional value and make the world a better place is rewarding, but it’s the collaboration with my team, clients, and users that truly drives me. Understanding their needs and crafting solutions that address those needs is incredibly fulfilling.

Q: Who are you working with currently?

A: Currently, I lead a squad called the Explorers (a Star Trek term), and we collaborate with various clients on projects. From integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into Document Crunch’s products to designing and developing custom software for the Evans Group and Solid Lives, each project brings its own set of challenges and rewards.

Q: What has been your favorite project at Unosquare and why?

A: I’ve had the privilege of working on several exciting projects, but if I had to choose, I’d say the Evans project holds a special place for me. Overcoming technical challenges to build a custom platform for sales reps from scratch was very gratifying. Additionally, the Solid Lives project stands out due to its unique challenge in creating a scalable and intuitive app for a church organization.

Q: What was the outcome of the projects you’ve worked on?

A: For the Evans Group, sales reps now have a custom tool that enhances their efficiency and confidence. Similarly, Solid Lives now has a user-friendly app that facilitates discipleship and community building on a global scale.

Q: How did you/Unosquare provide value?

A: At Unosquare, we go beyond simply fulfilling client requirements. We strive to provide expert guidance, feedback, and innovative solutions that exceed client expectations. By understanding our clients’ goals and markets, we deliver products that not only meet their needs but also delight them. In recent projects, this involved delivering 120% of the value at 10% of the cost.

Q: What is the most important tip you can give customers or others on product management or design/delivery?

A: One of the most critical pieces of advice I can offer is to embrace the concept of “Genchi Gembutsu,” which means “go and see for yourself.” Avoid making assumptions and instead, actively engage with clients, users, and projects to truly understand their needs and challenges.

Q: What are the biggest trends you see in software design and development or product management?

A: Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to be a significant trend, but beyond that, there’s a growing emphasis on leveraging technology to solve real-world problems effectively. Projects like Document Crunch exemplify this trend by using AI to streamline processes and provide valuable insights.

Q: How do you interact with clients and ensure a smooth delivery?

A: Interactions with clients vary depending on their preferences and needs. We utilize various communication tools, including Slack, Teams, or even texting. Additionally, our unique management software and regular demos ensure constant communication and collaboration throughout the project lifecycle.

Q: What types of teammates have you pulled into projects with clients?

A: We assemble multidisciplinary teams tailored to each project’s requirements. From developers and designers to QA specialists and researchers, we ensure that we have the right expertise to tackle any challenge effectively.

Q: How has leveraging the Unosquare bench/skillset helped clients?

A: Leveraging Unosquare’s talent pool has been instrumental in meeting tight deadlines and delivering high-quality products. For example, during the Solid Lives project, tapping into additional developers from our bench enabled us to meet a critical, and extremely tight deadline for the product launch.

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: Outside of work, I’m passionate about soccer. Coaching my sons’ soccer teams and playing the sport myself brings me joy and allows me to unwind from the demands of product management.

Allen Eskridge’s insights shed light on how our product management team collaborates and listens to customers to over deliver on custom software design and development.


Ready to dive in?
Start with Unosquare today.

Unosquare is a full-service, international digital engineering firm. Through our centers of excellence we recruit, train and professionally manage talent to ensure expertise from discovery to delivery.

Let's work together