Small teams act as the pillars of a startup. The productivity of these pillars is highly dependent upon the motivation and engagement levels of the employees. Harmony and intermingling amongst these small teams also plays an integral part in the startups’ growth. When the marketing, tech and product teams work together, the products and services begin to reach an altogether new level of excellence.
Bridge between the Languages
While the product team is responsible for ideating, brainstorming and conceptualizing the product the company needs to make, the tech team consists of the people who actually execute their ideas. Being the face of the company, the product people often communicate with potential vendors and they come across various queries regarding the compatibility of the API’s, feasibility of technical modifications in the product to run marketing campaigns, and more. In such cases, it can become quite a tedious process for the product people if they are unsure of the answers without confirming or checking with the tech team. There are times when the product may not be absolutely tailor-made for the requirements of the hour. I am sure many other tech startups would second me on that. Inter-communication and synchronized functioning between both the techies and product team can go a long way in enabling the smooth functioning of the business.
When Reality Strikes
All entrepreneurs follow the ‘right here, right now’ ideology. However, through the past months we have realized that having ideas and expectations must meet somewhere halfway in order to make the execution easier and achievable. Both the teams need to reach a common ground where they can decide the next course of action and how soon they can achieve it. At the end of the day, we all want to create a good product that processes the complexities at the backend and is immensely user-friendly. Starting out with small, feasible tasks can help both teams in getting the ball rolling and reach that ultimate goal in the foreseeable future.
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Learning is a never-ending process and nurturing such a cross-functional culture can extend the horizons of every employee. We have all seen ourselves growing personally and professionally while working with other teams; the expertise and dedication of these colleagues inspires us tremendously. While the product people have come to appreciate the algorithm-centric mindset and structured approach of the tech team, the tech team finds it immensely refreshing to be constantly updated about the requirements of the consumer. The other supporting teams act as the interface between the real world and the domain of codes for the techies; the understanding achieved through the extensive market research and customer psyche is invaluable in creating a good product. On the other hand, it is awesome for the product team to see the product unfold right from scratch to the one we have always aimed for; there are no layers of hierarchy that cause deviation from the initial objective and motivation.
How Others Do It
The process of introducing a new product in the market is quite different for large companies as compared to startups. For an established company, the flow is something like this:
- The stakeholders ideate and build a full-fledged concept of the new project, keeping in mind the needs of the consumer.
- The product team refine the initial requirements, the layout of the product and project them in a PRD (product requirements document) or a SRS (software requirements specification).
- This documentation is given to the tech team, who create a SDD (software design document), which is then handed over to the product team for approval. Meanwhile, the design team creates a UI mock-up for the product.
- The tech team commences work on the software and a representative of the product team assumes a managerial role to keep a check on the progress of product development.
- The introduction of the proposed product often gets delayed because of the urgency of other projects.
Walking through the journey together not only helps to identify the achievable & problematic aspects of your product, but also helps in the optimum utilization of the time, effort, and resources. In startups, the world of servers and modules cannot be confined to tech teams only. Success requires a combined vision of all the people contributing to the productivity of the company, community, and learning as a whole.