April 26

AMA with Hassan Oyeyemi


Hassan Oyeyemi is a Product Manager at FirstBank with 4 years of experience in product management, interaction design, and payment system infrastructure. Before joining FirstBank, Hassan worked with Lendsqr and Riby Finance where he led the work of high-performing technical teams through two successful product development cycles to launch. He is a certified member of the Interaction Design Foundation and he enjoys using his skills to contribute to exciting technological advances that challenge the status quo.

ProductDiver: What’s one thing you’re most careful/mindful of in your role as a PM? 

Hassan: Relationships! I believe properly managing interpersonal relations with every stakeholder involved in a product cycle is the greatest thing I am mindful of because these people will either make or break your career. 

ProductDiver: How do you come up with a hypothesis for A/B testing or Multivariate testing? 

Hassan: I believe empathizing with the user through research to build a persona is the best way to design sets of mock-up for a/b testing.

ProductDiver:  Have you ever killed a product? If yes, how did you come to this conclusion and how did you communicate it to your stakeholders? 

Hassan: Although I have not experienced this before in my career. However, I believe that there are critical success metrics that every PM tracks. These metrics or KPIs might differ among organizations but they ultimately identify if the product is successful or not. So based on a PM’s communication plan, it’s important to carry key stakeholders along when communicating these metrics whether good or bad.

ProductDiver: What is the best technology stack one can use for a core banking application? 

Hassan: There many factors to consider when picking a stack for a banking application. every technology stack is a great tool depending on the level of expertise of the engineer using it. One would have to consider the security, maintainability, and portability of such a stack before adopting it.

ProductDiver: I wanted to ask what would be your advice to PMs who would like to transition to the fintech space?

Hassan: I landed my first job in fintech with little to no experience but I was willing to learn new things outside my comfort zone. So I’d suggest learning about the industry and seeking out internships. Attending fintech meetups helps as well.

ProductDiver: How has product management been for you in the bank space especially with a lot of fintech companies emerging and gaining fast attraction?

Hassan: It has been a huge culture shock for me compared to my experience working with fintechs. Basic things take a long time to complete due to so many red tapes.

However, the banks are thinking ahead and they are well aware of the threat fintech pose to their market share. I think this has shown in the type of partnerships they go into with some fintech and also in their product features.

ProductDiver: You do product management for one of the oldest banks in the country. How attractive is PMing in Firstbank? Is it agile? Comparing it with Lendsqr and Riby, how will you rate it?

Hassan: PMing for FirstBank has been a wonderful experience because there are a lot of challenges or problems to be solved which ultimately means one is solving for millions of customers which your work will directly impact.

So comparing with other fintech, I would say there is room for improvement especially around TAT and taking product risk.

ProductDiver: What influences the nature of problems you solve in a place as big as FBN? Are directives passed down from the top and how do you manage when this happens?

Hassan: Directives aren’t passed down from the top. There’s a business structure that identifies the product owners who understand the pain points of customers due to physical interactions with them. It is from this structure that we ideate the problems to be solved.

However, all new product ideas must be approved by management before development can commence.

ProductDiver: How would you advise a PM to react to management’s request to make changes on the roadmap based on a single customer’s requirement that could help boost revenue especially when there was a buy-in on the roadmap before this requirement came in?

Hassan: I would find space and time to accommodate the request because agile is all about responding to change swiftly. As a PM you’ll often find yourself constantly refining product backlog. So responding to change quickly is a great quality of any agile team.

Hassan can be found on LinkedIn here

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