How do you structure your Product Team?

Last post 08:43 pm January 14, 2020
by Daniel Wilhite
1 reply
08:05 am January 14, 2020


My question is barely scrum related but I really would like to have an insight from someone with scrum experience.

I'm working on a startup, we are about 50 folks in total and about 15 of us are working on the product team working our products. Inside the product team we have a set of roles and also some divisions/hierarchy, something like this:

  1. Product Team 2) Development Team 2.1) Developers 2.2) QAs 3) Product Team 3.1) POs 3.2) UX/UD 3.3) Data Science

We are not really happy with the current org chart, namely : A) Double naming, there's a "Product Team" inside de "Product Team" which is really confusing: we can only guess which "Product Team" are people referring too. One of the teams must be renamed, what would be your suggestion?

B) "Development Team" is not a good name as QAs are also under that umbrella. Would "Engineering Team" be a best name?

I've seen situations where the top "Product Team" is removed and both "Development / Engineering Team" and "Product Team" go up a level. I've mixed feelings about that approach. It makes sense at first but it also creates a gap between the Development/Engineering and the product itself, suddenly the IT folks are just doing what they are told, lost sense of ownership and accountability. I'm also not sure if it makes sense for a 15 people universe.

What are your thoughts?

08:43 pm January 14, 2020

If you want an opinion from a Scrum point of view I would say

  1. Scrum Team

    1. Product Owner
    2. Scrum Master
    3. Development Team

Any individual, regardless of their title, will participate in one or more of those roles as their skills are needed. Scrum doesn't really care about a person's job title.  It is all about roles.  Roles describe the work that is a person does.  Job Titles are just convenient names for people that do roles.  

Focus on building teams of people that are capable of doing the work the team needs to do and stop trying to make sure all job titles are represented.  For example, it is possible that some one with a Software Developer job title can test or design a UI. 

Your organization can still have a Product Team which is made up of all the people with Product Management related titles for example.  

That is my opinion.  Hope it helps.