Six tips to put together a high-performance product team
On my Linkedin I am frequently sharing my perspectives on the world of tech and software development, sprinkled with a few insights and key learnings from our everyday life at Lab08. The snippets that people seem to get the most value out of, we have decided to dress up and put on our blog.
Not long ago I addressed the structure of high-performing product teams. More specifically, the competencies you need to set them up. I have seen quite a few scaling tech ventures overestimating the need for actual software development and underestimating the condition of the competencies making a product team deliver the most bang for the buck.
To tech and product people this might seem like common knowledge, but based on the positive reactions the post got, it is not as straightforward as it seems to ensure high caliber performance for business leaders and founders scaling tech ventures for the first time.
Below, you can read my two cents.
You need someone experienced in analyzing the need of the users (and challenging their requests) and using this knowledge to form the product road map continuously. This is too often treated lightly, but it shouldn’t! If not performed well, the team will be inefficient, and the value creation will be significantly lower.
Design of the user interface
Often called UX/UI, even though UX (user experience) is more about translating the user needs into user flows and prototypes. UI (user interface) makes the final design ready for development. You will need someone skilled in UI, and often this person will have a basic understanding of UX as well. As you scale, you should invest in both profiles.
Simply referred to as DevOps. Setting up, monitoring, and optimizing the proper infrastructure for your software product to be stable and fast is a unique set of competencies. You will never regret this investment.
The most senior developer on the team will naturally be the one calling most of the shots on how to solve the technical challenges that will naturally occur. It’s just important to define that responsibility.
A well-balanced team will have at least three software developers (including the tech lead), and there should at least be one specialized in front-end development and one in backend development. With a solid development process, you could also have five people, but if the need for speed is more significant, you generally want to consider a second team instead.
Just referred to as QA. A skill that is too often misunderstood and undervalued can be mistaken for someone “trying out if all the buttons work before releasing new features.” Well, this is a part of manual QA testing, but senior QA engineers understand how to build code that will allow the software to test itself – automated quality assurance. This person will make your product more stable – and your product team more productive.
All of this will only create value if you have a true visionary setting the direction and priorities of the team. A founder, a CEO, a Product Director, or whoever it might be. However, this is a role we have never found anyone underestimating, as they are generally aware of their importance in fast-track scaleups 🙂
If you would like to know about how we are setting up our product teams for optimal performance in Lab08 and what we can do to help you accelerate your software innovation, please connect with me on Linkedin right us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing Partner in Lab08
As CEO, Rasmus scaled Komfo from 0 to 70 employees, delivering a market-leading SaaS B2B solution for social media. Sold it to Sitecore.
Co-founded Lab08 on the belief that while we don’t have all the ideas of how to solve tomorrow’s challenges, we know how to scale the technology powering these ideas.
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