What is a Product Development Team?

September 30, 2022 Clark Ames

What is a Product Development Team?

Product development teams are small, interdisciplinary teams that seamlessly work together in order to craft and deploy complex projects with technical proficiency. The way that a product development team is structured can make, or break, the success of the end product.

At Haystack, we consider product development teams to be pods or groupings made up of individual, hands-on practitioners that are skilled in a specific area of expertise. While each individual performs their necessary skill set at the highest level, they rely on each other to collectively launch custom software solutions.

A product development team typically includes at least 1 individual from each of 4 different functions — Product Strategy, Product Management, Design, and Engineering. At HSTK, our product development teams typically range from 5-7 team members, because we include more than 1 developer on each project.

The best product development teams work autonomously at the project level. This means that they operate as a collaborative, agile unit throughout the course of the project. The product team is responsible for delivering the end product, so they regularly share insights and make decisions collectively to steer the product towards success.

In this way, the best product development teams are not assembly lines that move from strategy to design to development to delivery. In a thriving and effective product team, every function is interwoven and supporting each other. Developers collaborate with strategists at project kickoff. Designers craft experiences with regular input from developers. Product managers are always in the mix to pose questions, highlight opportunities, and devise creative solutions.

What are the key roles and responsibilities of an effective product development team?

Product Strategy

A product strategist is responsible for understanding the ‘Why’ before considering the ‘What’ and ‘How’. A strategic technical consultant is involved in product planning and understands the product’s overall vision. They’re effective at MVP definition, feature selection and prioritization, and overall team alignment.

Product Management

A product management team member tracks the product road map and acts as a guide throughout the course of development. They keep the business goals and users’ needs in mind as strategic decisions are being made. They’re responsible for regular and frequent communication, sprint planning, roadmap documentation, and planning releases.

Product Design

Product designers do more than make things look good on screen. They’re strategically weighing design direction based on user needs and technical requirements to devise simple, intuitive experiences. Product designers have a solid grasp of frontend development to be able to deliver rapid prototypes and design systems.

Product Development

Software or application developers should be involved at the beginning of every project to help with technology selection, product planning, mapping integrations, and documentation. Beyond writing code and understanding modern libraries, frameworks, and methodologies, their technical expertise is required at every step of a project.

Need a dedicated Product Development Team to launch your idea?

We’re Haystack, and our team becomes your team as we collaboratively work together to launch a successful product. Contact us now.