DE / 2023

Key tenets of high-performing cross-functional product teams

August 2021
Work notes

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In August of 2021, while interviewing for a few different design leadership roles, I synthesized what I believe are the key tenets of high-performing cross-functional product teams. I’ve found that each of these are critical and most people in most organisations will agree to them but they are extremely rare and quite difficult to put in place.

1 /
They have a narrow focus and work towards a measurable outcome that is set (or agreed upon) by company leadership. How they choose to get to that outcome is up to them.

2 /
They experiment rigorously and regularly with a diverse toolkit. They use data to inform their hypotheses. They optimize their solution exploration for
speed to feedback from their target audience.

They ship small, lovable and complete increments often. They learn from what they ship and iterate to improve outcomes for their target audience.

Expensive and hard-to-reverse decisions are thoroughly debated. The cheap and easy-to-reverse ones are made swiftly. All decisions are documented.

Although it's the designer's expertise, everyone on the team cares deeply about the user experience.