No matter the size of your product development team, managing it can be a challenge. As outlined by Medium, the product development team is often divided into five roles:
Fulfilling these roles in a cohesive and effective manner that keeps everyone satisfied is not an easy task. Often, employees will feel disconnected from the business at large and shift their focus to the tasks at hand and upcoming deadlines. It’s important that every individual feels like they are contributing to the collective mission, helping them strive toward their full potential. Mismanagement of product developers, or any team for the matter, has consequential implications, leading to wasted talent and decreased productivity.
At a basic level, you need to have an organizational structure that places every individual in positions according to their strengths. Have discussions with your team to grasp who is ready to take on more challenging roles, and explicitly define everyone’s role and responsibilities. They need to be able to work with the bigger picture in mind. If a large number of people are assigned to the project, NPD Solutions suggests that the product be divided into subsystems that work in parallel with equal effort on each module.
With several teams, it’s vital that you appoint one person per team as the leader, or rather the coach. This helps the team operate in a self-directed way and creates a balance in roles and responsibilities. When electing a team leader, it’s natural to opt for someone with the most leadership experience; however, a person’s potential should also be factored in.
Alice van Harten, an MBA admissions coach from Menlo Coaching, discusses how prospects are evaluated on the interactions they have with others, such as team members, managers and workers from other departments. You have to consider the person’s current role and contributions. Past experience doesn’t mean anything if they have nothing to show for it in their current position.
Coordination between team leads and project managers will foster better communication throughout the whole operation, though it’s not enough to simply assign roles to every person. The organizational structure has to be intuitive, informative and supportive. A feedback loop keeps an open line of communication; thus when an issue pops up, it can be addressed immediately.
Experts on The Next Web discussed how the next step would be to set up a system called “purposeful collaboration,” which connects all stakeholders to the purpose of the organization. The entire process has to be mapped out and shared with everyone in the team(s), so that each person has all the information they need before proceeding with the next task. The information shared must be clear and relative to the person involved; otherwise, the whole system of purposeful collaboration will fall apart with employees feeling bombarded with too many details that aren’t specific to their roles.
While all of this may seem like common sense, myriad companies still experience issues in organizational workflow and low morale. Investment in people and training are major points for team building and development, but the team will need a stable foundation that empowers every individual, fully preparing the team to overcome any future challenges.