4 Mins Read  February 3, 2014  Dipak Mawale

How to Build Great Product Development and Product Engineering Teams

A lot can happen over a cup of coffee. Who knew discussing casual work with a friend would get me come up with a topic to write about!!

I realized the blame game had engulfed my dear friend. He complained of no time and the work load was way too much to handle, new people were hired out of blue and instead of being an additional support were proving to be increasing the workload of the older members.

So many problems!!!This talk actually went much more beyond idle talk, and actually steered me to read between the lines. Overall it’s a world known paradigm that a good product is a sign that the company has a good engineering team. However the corollary applies much more strongly.

Look at this scenario- You have a very complex project combining many departments that have to work in coordination and synchronization. But due to discomfort in the relations the message that need to pass on uniformly among all the units is been disrupted. This will severely affect the project as a whole and the company to even a grander scale. Then the after effects that will follow will be the blame game, unwillingness and the growth stalked gravely.

Studying and researching about this and such problems I have concluded on some must-haves that would create a good team that would ultimately steer us to create a valuable product.

10 commandments for a good team

  1. A team always needs a good, focused and clear with the demand of the project lead. The know-his-job cue will help to motivate the team and will coordinate the systematic hierarchical structure that will give stellar results. According to the reports, Microsoft has been facing some very serious problems since 2000 due to bad management techniques. When this could shake the tycoons will we be spared?
  2. Initially there should be pre product development conference consisting of all the team members to analyze and decide the strategies, goals, metrics and culture that the team needs to follow. This will help to bring about a uniform consensus of all the team members preventing the future internal conflicts.
  3. The team leads of all the related modules should get the work map nailed rightly and try to keep the work line same though stay open for any light weight process to go in hand with any new methodology.
  4. If you need to rescale your team to manage the increased load then definitely go for it. But for the first few days just let the newbies take an overview of actually how the module they would be working on is been developed.
  5. Rather than having a one centered team go for the multidisciplinary one. Rather than just focusing on the redundant approach have bird eye on all the sectors like technology, marketing and sales. This would help rather than just rote progress by a group of same skilled Joes.
  6. Provide ample of freedom to team cues to add in their opinions anytime. This would help provide them satisfaction, freedom and worth of their talent.
  7. Avoid creating canned methodology which has the complete recipe outlined. The more you keep it dynamic the stronger the team members analyze and think during their work. They would be grilling out their most hidden skills and this would be the best dish to serve out.
  8. Always keep rhythm of the communication flow between the departments to see if the coupling is not falling through the cracks. But also maintain the individual cohesiveness to have secure nuts and bolts.
  9. Do not just load the members with work. Always keep the leisure and stretch up times so that they can catch up some fresh air. The more fresh and creative the team is the better will the performance get.
  10. Remember you cannot be everywhere all the time! Let the cooks do their job. This way you would not be thrown to wolves and probably cut release date phobia to a great extent.

At the end of the day it’s the game of plug and play. You would want the Boeing incident to be the future of your company right? So sit back and give time to nurturing a good team. You will reap the fruits of sweet products for sure.

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