Played Reach

Following on from the Played app, Played Reach was designed to be the in-house SaaS booking and management software for sports facilities. This web app allows anyone with a facility, event, or class to start selling on their own marketplace instantly. It can support sole traders and national companies alike.




Product Manager



My Role

Building a SaaS product of this scale and complexity from the ground up within a year was a big challenge, however the knowledge from the industry and from other software we had made was invaluable. I designed the initial concept and wireframes before handing over to a designer to create the style and interface. We worked closely together over a short month to complete the initial v1 designs. I then managed the remote development team to produce the product. Managing the backlog and prioritising the features became a serious task in itself. The project suffered a number of delays, with seemingly easy tasks becoming complex as we worked with a variety of stakeholders who would eventually become our first customers.

The Product

This product was great for the industry and had very little competition on release. Until then, two major companies dominated this software space; their products were antiquated, over-complex, expensive, and took months of onboarding. Our product was easily accessible to anyone, it was simple to use and it could scale with any size of business. Its interface reflected that of any industry-leading SaaS platform on the web, and provided something the sports industry was missing.

There were plenty of challenges to overcome every week on this project. It contains a full management system with different levels of access for different staff, as well as an automated website creator which built each business a new website that the customer could instantly start selling on. It is packed full of marketing features and analytics, and there were simply so many elements to build concurrently, that the project as a whole was a complex yet enjoyable challenge.

Evolution of the project

Today the product stands firmly in the marketplace competing with much larger companies with far greater resources. It has a strong national and international customer base, including many publicly-funded institutions within the UK. It continues to grow off the back on its own success, with hundreds of bookings being processed daily through the platform.

Key take aways

> Properly understanding the importance of defining the scope of a project as easily as possible. This is also includes working through every minute detail with the developers before construction starts.

> Developing and strengthening my understanding of the UX, and in turn giving me a better relationship with UX/UI designers.

> Learning how to best manage remote engineering teams, especially when time zones are a factor.

> Balancing the requirements of multiple customers against the over-population of features in the product is a delicate act.

> Engaging with more complex projects which include greater challenges to overcome can be far more rewarding for the teams behind their creation, and for the stakeholders.

Other work