CHAPTER 15Product Teams

The most fundamental of all product concepts is the notion of an empowered, cross-functional product team. This is where effective, innovative products come from, and most of the product model is one way or another about creating and nurturing these product teams.

Principle: Empowered with Problems to Solve

First, let's look at what it means to be empowered.

An empowered product team exists to solve problems in ways that your customers love, yet work for your business.

What makes the team empowered is that they are assigned problems to solve—they might be customer problems or company problems—and it is their job to come up with the best solution to those problems.

It's important to recognize that this is very different from the feature teams that exist in the IT model, which are given prioritized lists of features and projects to build.

Second, let's look at what it means to be cross-functional.

A cross-functional product team has members who can cover each of the product model competencies necessary to come up with strong solutions to the problems you've been asked to solve.

It is so critical for an empowered product team to be truly cross-functional because it is not reasonable to expect a team to solve problems and to be held accountable to the results without the range of necessary skills.

Normally, that means a product manager, a product designer, and a set of engineers.

We've said this earlier, but it's so essential it bears repeating:

  • The ...

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