4 Effective Product Team Structures For 2023

Every product manager should have full access to detailed market research reports. Your product team must use lightweight tools such as Slack or HipChat. It would be best to carefully analyze the team’s needs and hire an efficient product manager. Familiarity with product analytics tools like Google Analytics and Mixpanel helps measure product success. A product team comprises these three personalities who collaborate to ship out a perfect product. 21 ReactJS Interview Questions & Answers 2023 A quick search on any job site will show you that an increasing amount of recruiters are searching for front-end web developers with React knowledge and experience.

product development team structure

As shown in the visual product team structure example above, Spotify has made space for better communication and cross-functional work. Each tribe is split into squads; each squad has one member as part of a chapter to help with communications within their overall tribe. For brainstorming within the product development team you might want to consider tools like Miro that offer powerful visual collaboration spaces for teams of all sizes. As a small team, as is typical in a startup, we tend to be generalists and we each cover many different topics.

We’re currently a lean team, organized according to the users, channels and the content of the experiences we aim to serve. We have a highly collaborative and cross-functional relationship mode of working to ensure that we’re ultimately optimizing what’s best for the user. In order to scale quickly, we have augmented our team with external resources and opened full-time roles to hire behind them for the long term.

Product Managers by Customer Journey Stage

It’s not enough to organize people in the teams structure described above for them to behave as a team. In order for them to perceive themselves as a team and start acting as such, they need common objectives. When we join two or more squads ​​we have a product team, which can also be called tribo. G Suite is a great shared place to work with documents, and Lucidchart and Draw.io are also decent visual shared workspaces. According to Scrum methodology, the optimal development team size is somewhere between three and nine.

  • We take project ownership and responsibility for decisions that were taken during the development.
  • As the platform capabilities expanded, we grew the product team by adding generalists and smart people capable of wearing many hats and jumping in on whatever challenges were thrown their way.
  • I had to step back to find out what best practices are in place to design product teams.
  • Aside from ownership, the term “empowered” also refers to how each team member feels and acts within a product team.
  • But as your company grows, the number of teams increases, and it’s getting harder to coordinate them, it’s time to slice up the pie and think of an effective product management organization structure.
  • This approach works well for a physical product and when the needs of segments are differentiated.

The product platform team is responsible for developing the tools and building blocks that allow product developers to formulate relevant features instantly. However, the most important elements of a product team are the way they can collaborate with other teams and their deep understanding of the business goals and user behaviors. Flexible Team Structure.This is where you combine the centralized approach with the embedded one. Developers are still integrated into specific teams, but they also report to a head of product development that seeks to align everyone and unify the approach. This flexibility is very valuable but also can result in wires being crossed when team members aren’t sure who to report to and who should be making the final decision. Another important principle is that you should aim to empower your team rather than micromanage them.

Approaches to software development and how they affect the development team structure

This is in contrast to the Scrum product owner who operates full-stack product ownership, from vision to the tactics, as the following picture shows. Prodify helps teams apply Vision-Led Product Management best practices to accelerate both shareholder value creation and product career development. It gives the team the ability to focus onwho they are building their product for over a long period of time. Again, this structure works well from an engineering standpoint given most engineers specialize in one of these (although that’s changing). This structure may work well if your user base sticks to a single OS.

There’s a common scaling challenge we’ve seen is when a company has one Product Owner and multiple business stakeholders (e.g., marketing, customer success, sales). It can be challenging for a single person to represent all of those opinions because each stakeholder group brings their own lens on what’s important for the product. In this model, the UX team reports to the UX-Specific Manager and also the product manager they are assigned to. The weightage of communication depends on who they are closely working with, but the UX manager keeps an oversight on the UX teams across all functionalities they are assigned to. Since there is no UX management team and they are spread across as resources for many projects, there is no scope for improvement for UX process and systems within the organization.

Product Team: Role and Structure

The team should be trained in brainstorming for solutions instead of criticizing each other. The classical method adopted back in the day was called the Waterfall method, but today Agile structure and methodologies are a little more preferred. Sometimes including many team members causes diffusion of responsibility and a lack of transparency among the team members. Such people will bring more new, creative ideas and perspectives to the table, resulting in better products. These teams have more chances of innovation as people from varied fields develop their unique perspectives and ideas. As the company expands, the team should develop simultaneously to keep up with the product demand.

Our product managers also used to act as scrum masters for their teams and we shifted toward having dedicated project managers. It’s critical that our product managers spend time doing market and customer research and opportunity analysis. But in reality, they were spending the vast majority of their time managing projects and dealing with issues there. Introducing dedicated project managers took some of that burden off of them so they could spend more time getting closer to our customers and their needs, and helping us build better products. When we discover new information about the customer, uncover shifts in the market or see emerging technology, we can react quickly to that information. It also allows us to align functions like user research and data to support product teams in all stages of their product development process.

product development team structure

Yet, when there are more than 15 people working on the same project, it might not be convenient. In this article, we’ll cover such issues as approaches to organizing a development team’s workflow, agile and traditional teams differences, and give you some tips on organizing. Additionally, we’ll go over Stormotion’s approach to managing our development workflow. Software architects are software development experts who make high-level design choices and set the technical standards for the entire project.

Quality Assurance

Rajesh Bhagia is experienced campaigner in Lamp technologies and has 10 years of experience in Project Management. He has worked in Multinational companies and has handled small to very complex projects single-handedly. He started his career as Junior Programmer and has evolved in different positions including Project Manager of Projects in E-commerce Portals. Currently, he is handling one of the largest project in E-commerce Domain in MNC company which deals in nearly 9.5 million SKU’s. For a smaller product portfolio, the head of product would take on this role without any hiccups else a dedicated full-time portfolio owner will be expected. A portfolio owner handles a group of products, and the role is also known as product portfolio manager.

product development team structure

At Lopes, when I joined, we had a team focused on the Portal, another on the CRM used by real estate agents and franchises and a third focused on the app for real estate agents. If it has one leader, he will be responsible for leading product managers, product designers, and engineers. If there are two leaders, usually one will lead product managers and product designers, and the other will lead engineers. If there are three leaders, one leads product managers, another leads product designers, and the third leads engineers. Structuring your product management with a product-based model helps you meet customer needs more effectively, and extend expertise within specialized divisions.

Discover the latest trends in fintech stacks and learn how companies are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to revolutionize financial services. This person owns the backlog of user stories that need to be built into a product iteration. They start by prioritizing which user stories go into an iteration (i.e., a sprint) and then prioritize daily tasks. Greater exposure and can become experts in their line of work since they work long term and gain significant knowledge and experience in the product domain. UX professionals are randomly utilized by different teams and hence lack the stability of intent in a project.

Internal Processes

Instead, the goal is to get something out there, learn what your users like about it, and then make the product better. First, though, let’s review one common misstep you’ll want to avoid when structuring your product team. 5 Ways to Deliver Instant Customer Experience and Boost PLG Instant customer experience can be a game-changer for PLG companies.

Productboard’s guiding principle

For many companies, a basic arrangement is enough to organize day-to-day operations. That’s why this method of dedicating managers to specific products or features is so common. As you move into this stage, your current team structure will inform how fast or slow you can build out new features. Depending on the size of your company, it could be just a single person who needs to focus on both early-stage research and getting users excited about upcoming releases. In that case, it’s possible that only one developer can’t keep up with everything being built for customers. All that, plus all the tasks needed to maintain an efficient development cycle.

We recently expanded the team with additional product managers to better support our bifurcated horizontal and vertical frameworks. Our product team is organized so that each product manager leads a cross-functional squad that works on a particular part of the product. Each squad includes our engineering and design teams, along with people from across the company who are key to achieving the goal. The development team structure is an essential prerequisite for effective product development. Who will be on your team is influenced by many factors, like the project’s complexity, budget, or deadlines. Agile team structures are most effective for startups, as it provides the flexibility and freedom the startup environment needs.

In other words, product managers should have a comprehensive understanding of the product as a whole. You probably wouldn’t want to restructure your development and product management organizations into squads, because you couldn’t give those small groups the autonomy to update the live products. Otherwise, their updates could jeopardize the stability of the rest of the product. First, product squads are responsible for functional areas of the company’s product line; they do not work across entire products or on ad hoc projects assigned by management.

Yet, making such an effort is more reasonable when it comes to complex and challenging projects. So, if you work on a simple product or small adjustments to it, we’d recommend considering something less resource-consuming. This arrangement approach means stages of team building that each team member is an expert in a certain programming language, framework, or technology, and thus, fully responsible for their part of development. You can create teams with their own hierarchy and structure to complete one part of the project.

The structure of a software development team depends on a range of factors. These include the type and complexity of your software product, the time you have to deliver the product, and the allocated budget. Methodologies aside, there is much more to modern product development than just “how” you conceptualize and develop a product. Designing team structures oriented toward engineering — above, say, customer value — runs the risk of becoming too inward-looking. Such a company might focus on technical elegance, for example, instead of whether that product can achieve a market fit. Implementing the wrong product development strategy can create more problems than it solves.