Building a great product team

Five things that diffrentiate a good product team from a bad one.

February 27, 2020

It’s been a couple of months since I was given the opportunity to become the product lead of the business department at BRCK.

During this time, one of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how to build a great product team. As I was doing my research, I came across this article by Marty Cagan on SPVG talking about what makes a Good Product Team vs Bad Product Team.

Here are some things that really stood out for me:

  1.  Good teams get their inspiration and product ideas from their objectives (e.g. OKR’s), from observing customers struggle, from analyzing the data customers generate from using their product, and from constantly seeking to apply new technology to solve real problems.  Bad teams gather requirements from sales and customers.
  2.  Good teams are skilled in the many techniques to rapidly try out product ideas to determine which ones are truly worth building.  Bad teams hold meetings to generate prioritized roadmaps.
  3.  Good teams engage directly with end-users and customers every week, to better understand their customers, and to see the customer’s response to their latest ideas.  Bad teams think they are the customer.
  4.  Good teams know that many of their favourite ideas won’t end up working for customers, and even the ones that could will need several iterations to get to the point where they provide the desired outcome.  Bad teams just build what’s on the roadmap and are satisfied with meeting dates and ensuring quality.
  5. Good teams understand the need for speed and how rapid iteration is the key to innovation, and they understand this speed comes from the right techniques and not forced labour.  Bad teams complain they are slow because their colleagues are not working hard enough.

After facing and overcoming the initial challenges of building a product team from scratch, I’m now looking forward to applying some of these concepts into making a great team that builds great products for our business customers.

You can read more about Good Team vs a Bad Team