5 months ago
How I set up my teams to be successful
After 10 years of working in scale-ups, I've embraced a few concepts for scaling Tech and Product teams.
First, cross-functionalize teams. Product Managers represent the business, Product Designers the consumer, and Engineers build.
I organize teams of 5-10 individuals, following AWS's two pizza teams guidelines, with a Product Trio guiding each.
If more individuals are needed to reach a goal, I group teams under a Product Trio.
With Engineering being the biggest group, Staff/Principal Engineers often support the Trio on cross-team technical decisions.
Product Managers, Engineering Managers, or Engineers in the team may manage projects (depending on the project or aim), but the trio is collectively responsible for the team's output and outcome.
Once the Product Trio model is created, roles, duties, team ceremonies, and cooperation models must be clarified.
Keep reporting lines by discipline. Line managers are accountable for each individual's advancement, thus it's crucial that they know the work in detail.
Cross-team collaboration becomes more important after 3 teams (15-30 people). Teams can easily diverge in how they write code, run ceremonies, and build products.
Establishing groups of people that are cross-team, but grouped by discipline and skills, sharing and agreeing on working practices becomes critical.
The “Spotify Guild” model has been where I’ve taken a lot of my inspiration from.
Last, establish a taxonomy for communication channels.
In Slack, I create one channel per team and one per guild (and one for me to have discussions with the team leads).
These are just some of the basic principles I follow to organize teams.
A book I particularly like about team types and how they interact with each other is https://teamtopologies.com/.