Opportunity cost is high when companies mix up product teams, so it's important to maintain consistency within those teams. Hear how Jay Clouse discovered this important lesson.
- Okay, I want to tell you a story about being a product manager on a product team and what that feels like to be a part of that team. At a former company I was working with, I was a product manager on a product team that was building an entirely new product from scratch. We literally did the market research, said this is the type of product we want to build, and we built it from the ground up. And so, over a period of time, we got really, really good at how we worked together as a product team, and after a while, the company decided they wanted to change direction, focus on a different product, and that whole team was reassigned to different products within the company.
And so, suddenly I was now a product manager on the company's oldest product with a product team that had been working together for a very long time. And right away, it just felt very different. It felt like I was no longer as comfortable or as familiar to that team, and it came out in our work, frankly. We were working much slower. We were shipping bad releases of the product that had a lot of bugs, and it affected how we got along as people, too.
After about two months of really struggling, we had a Sprint planning meeting that I pulled the whole product team in and I said, we have a lot to talk about today. Well, let's put all that to the side and just spend some time talking about how we can make this better. And after about an hour of talking about how we work best and, honestly, a little bit of complaining, we really came to a much better place of how to work together as people. We moved more quickly, we communicated better, we enjoyed working together more. And so you can see from my story that it's possible for you to drop into a new product team that has experience together and reform that chemistry, but it takes some time.
It took us a period of a couple of months. Whenever possible, it's so much better to keep the entire product team together and move them on to a new challenge or a new product.
- Setting up the organizational structure for a product-centric organization
- Creating effective product teams
- Creating a strong product vision and strategy
- Evaluating Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
- Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Performing customer and product discovery
- Prototyping products
- Creating a data-driven culture