Lemon #69. Principles of strong product teams (1st part)

Lemon #69. Principles of product teams (1st part)

While reading ‘Inspired’ from Marty Cagan, we learned about the principles of strong product teams: 

A product team is a group of people who bring together different specialized skills and responsibilities and feel real ownership for a product. 

  • Team of Missionaries

As John Doerr says: «We need teams of missionaries, not teams of mercenaries». Mercenaries build whatever they’re told to build. Missionaries are true believers in the vision and are committed to solving problems for their customers. 

  • Team composition

A typical product team is comprised of a product manager, a product designer, and somewhere between 2 and about 10 engineers. Of course, if the product you’re working on doesn’t have a user-facing experience – APIs -, you probably don’t need the product designers.

Teams might also have a few other members such as a product marketing manager, test automation engineers, a user researcher or a data analyst. 

  • Team reporting structure

A product team is not about reporting relationships. Usually, everyone on a product team is an individual contributor, and there are no people managers. 

The people on the team typically continue to report to their functional manager. For example, the engineers report to an engineering manager. Likewise, the designer usually reports to a head of design, and the product manager reports into the head of products. 

To be absolutely clear, the product manager is not the boss of anyone on the product team. 

Marty Cagan @ Inspired.

Jorge Moreno

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