It’s easy to look at a product you use everyday and think it was built by a huge company with a ton of resources. But almost every product you use—from physical products to mobile apps and websites—were designed and created by a small product team. In this video, learn what a product team is, who it's made up of, and the different objectives of the team.
- It's easy to look at a product you use every day, let's take Instagram, for example, and think such a massive undertaking was built by a huge company with a ton of resources. But almost every product you use, from physical products to mobile apps and websites, were designed and created by a small product team. When Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, the company had 26 million users on iOS and only 13 employees.
Instagram was an example of a highly effective product team. Now Instagram has many product teams working on different aspects of the same core application. You may be a small startup, with your entire company acting as a product team, or a large company with multiple product teams within in, like Instagram. No matter the case, the product team's ability to work together and bring the best product to market in a timely manner can make or break your company. So what is a product team exactly? A product team is a cross-functional group of individuals that work together to solve hard problems.
They bring different skill sets together to create and feel ownership over a product or specific aspect of a product. Typically, a product team will have a dedicated product manager, a product designer, a marketing manager, and somewhere between two and 10 engineers. Generally, one of those engineers will be designated as the technical engineering lead. In some organizations, product teams are called squads, which is a military term that emphasizes cross-functionality. Other times, they are referred to as dedicated product teams or durable product teams.
Don't worry too much about the lingo, these all mean the same thing. So that answers the what of product teams, but why do we have them? Well, product teams were created to help companies get out of the project-based mindset. In the past, many companies were simply focused on getting products out the door as quickly as possible. But this mindset incentivized teams to simply get a product out the door, rather than the right product to customers. It's no wonder that so many products were total flops when they hit the market.
So now product teams are held accountable for the results of the product launch. They're responsible for releasing a product that solves a real problem in a meaningful way. And that product needs to be loved by customers, while also creating value for the business. Now, here's what's interesting. Often product teams are simply tasked with a desired outcome or objective. Then it's totally on that team to find the best solution to achieve that business objective. There may be a new target market your company wants to reach, a new product offering for your existing target market, or a solution to a security risk.
Maybe, as in the case with Instagram, your product team is tasked with launching to a new audience or platform entirely, like Android. Whatever it is, it's important for your company to form well-balanced and highly functional product teams, teams that will need to learn how to trust each other and work efficiently to solve problems for real customers while also serving the business's needs.
In this course, Jay Clouse reviews the roles and responsibilities of the typical product team and explains the nuances of communicating with each group of stakeholders, including senior leaders, company partners such as sales and marketing, and customers themselves. The course includes real-life scenarios that show these communication strategies in action during phases of product management—including customer discovery, road mapping, and sprint planning.
- Product team principles
- Members of the product team
- Product manager responsibilities
- Communicating with senior leaders, sales, marketing, and customer service
- Communicating with customers