It is quite a challenging task for any organization to scale its software product development team. Before scaling organizations have to find the answers to questions like when is the right time to grow? how exactly will you do it? What are the objectives of scaling the product team? After finding the exact answers to these question organizations must start scaling their product development team. The organizations add their product management resources when their product strategy is doing well in the market and they are struggling to give proper attention to expertise that is required to grow the business. The scaling of the product development team becomes necessary in different cases that are discussed below.
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When To Scale?
1. Startup Is Growing:
The companies who develop their product they usually do scale their software product development team when their startup is growing. When the customer base of the company grows, they constantly have to improve their product to stay competitive in the market. When the startup grows MAU/DAU and other KPIs show good numbers. Then it is time to scale your product team. To fill the gap and support a required development pace you have to invite needed experts to the company. The companies who miss the right time to scale their product team might lose their competitive advantage.
The second scenario for the companies to scale their product development team is when they are shifting from a single product to multiple products. The prime example of this case is Facebook. Facebook has introduced different horizontal products such as Messenger, Pages Manager, Ads Manager, Facebook lite, etc. All these apps are part of a single product but they are developed and supported by different teams. So for the organizations that are adopting the same platform approach they have to scale their product team.
3.Improve The Product:
When an organization does a brilliant marketing campaign and attracts a lot of customers but their product is not up to the mark they have to invite new specialists for rescue. If the product doesn’t provide the required satisfaction to the user, he will drop it after first use. In this situation expanding your product development becomes a necessity.
4.Mishandling Of All Projects:
Some organizations work simultaneously on different projects. These organizations have to scale their product development team when they have not enough employees to handle all the projects. Similarly, if the number of simultaneous projects in the pipeline grows rapidly from the investors and the current team lacks expertise or skill, the company has to do scaling of the product team.
5.Unable To Meet Deadlines:
If the organization is permanently failing to meet the deadlines of the investors then it is the right time to scale up their product development team. The organization might not have enough manpower to deal with all the tasks. The problem maybe is in poor project management or improper organization. After creating more teams you have to assign the tasks according to their expertise.
How To Scale?
After finding the answer to when to scale your product development team, the second question that comes to mind is how to do it.
- First of all, the company has to clearly define the goals they want to achieve after scaling their product development team. As we discussed earlier some of the main motives of scaling are to increase development speed, extend product platform, work on different projects, and to solve the specific issues by hiring new members. After understanding a clear motive you can portrait the need for missing employees.
- The size of the team also matters a lot in the success of a company. Usually, the companies have seven to ten members in their development team. So to scale up, the organizations have to split them into different teams. The split can be according to the whole team concept or skill-based concept. In the whole team concept, the company has to assign a separate project for a team to work independently on it. The skill-based split concept is common in the companies that are concentrated on one specific product. In this case, employees will be grouped according to their role.
- The organization has to pay more attention to the project and product development when they are scaling their product development team. The product manager must have a full technical understanding. Every team must pay attention to single responsibility and the company has to plan it Backlog in such a way that each task is assigned to somebody.
- The balance between the new and old teams needs to be intact and engage when scaling the product development team. The company must have a combination of newcomers and old members. The balanced teams are also key to the success of the company. The organizations could also outsource services of different digital agencies for this purpose. You also have to encourage the dialogue between different teams so that they can share their experiences.
Also read: Product development mistakes