Getting to know Natalie Baker, Product Director
What is the role of a Product Director?
As a Product Director, I work closely with our clients to define the vision for their digital products, and lead a multidisciplinary team in developing solutions that achieve their goals.
This can range from setting objectives for a new product, creating opportunity backlogs to inform our discovery and design work, or helping to shape the roadmap. And sometimes, it can be all of these, at the same time, for different clients!
How did you get to where you are today?
I joined Torchbox over five years ago as a Project Manager, a role that evolved into Delivery Manager. I managed our last big complex Drupal project and was promoted to Senior Delivery Manager before having my first baby and taking nine months out for maternity leave. When I returned, we’d said goodbye to Drupal and I worked on a number of Wagtail sites and custom applications. As I’ve become more involved with the strategic direction of our client’s digital products, the move to Product Director felt like a natural fit.
What do you love most about your role?
I love being able to build long-term partnerships with clients that go beyond the lifespan of one single project.
Being in this role at Torchbox means that I get to work with amazing organisations, who are truly making a positive impact on society, in the UK and internationally. As someone who has always worked in the not-for-profit sector, this is really important to me.
What current projects are you working on?
We’ve just finished the design for some new and exciting functionality for Action for Children so I’m looking forward to seeing that through to development and learning how it performs and how we can build on it. I’m also working on the new roadmap for Upshot who have recently become a Community Interest Company.
What advice would you give to any budding Product Directors?
Having a genuine interest in the industry and being open to learning goes a long way. There are so many free resources and great minds sharing ideas about product management that we can learn from and apply to our work.
What has been a highlight of your time at Torchbox?
The opportunity to work with Samaritans and launch their new site on Wagtail, as well as shaping the early work on their Online Chat tool. Not only does the charity do incredibly important work, but I really enjoyed working with the team there and forming a true partnership to achieve great results.
Outside of work, I’ve loved getting to hang-out with my colleagues on our team-building trips, like TorchFest and at regular social events (run virtually since the pandemic!). The team is what makes it a truly special place to work.