Software development

Ibms Organizational Structure & Product Management

All these skills must be built on the foundation of great communication — we interact with so many different teammates, stakeholders, customers and prospects. Ultimately, this structure is optimized for timeboxed execution to achieve specific outcomes for the company and our customers. We believe that this also helps us leverage individual skills and balance team dynamics to ensure personal and professional growth for each team member. DomainToolsVP of Product Jackie Abrams said product team members are assigned to different areas of the product ecosystem to optimize how the platform is managed. Some managers are dedicated to specific use cases and customer needs at the cybersecurity threat intelligence platform, while others tend to DomainTools’ internal system on a more general level.

software product development organizational structure

However, it’s equally important that you demonstrate consistent curiosity, a readiness to learn new skills, and the drive to collaboratively solve real-world problems. We recently brought our merchant-facing teams closer together to facilitate building a more cohesive experience. This has allowed us to think deeper and focus more on how we can drive our clients’ business goals. At automation platformHyperScience, all problem-solving starts from the ground up, rather than top-down management. VP of Product and Design Francisco Uribe said that looks like tightly aligned squads, grouped in layers to represent the core modules of the user experience such as system integration, platform and AI. H3 offers a unique opportunity to join a team in the formative stages of a big mission and make an impact on millions of people’s lives.

The Three Responsibilities Of Product Leadership

Through transparency and collaboration, the product team can innovate quickly, Simkhay said. In the era of global competition, how to improve the performance of new product development team is an important scientific issue. When we discover new information about the customer, uncover shifts in the market or see emerging technology, we can react quickly to that information. It also allows us to align functions like user research and data to support product teams in all stages of their product development process. Vice President of Product Daniel Pardes said that a “pods” structure of product manager, designer and engineers results in team autonomy and faster feedback loops at community-building platformMeetup.

According to Damyant Gill, practice area director, Slalom customizes its product teams to align with the client’s and project’s needs. Our product and engineering teams are broken out into several “squads,” with each squad having an area of ownership in the platform. Each product manager’s area of responsibility is typically driven by the types of users we serve and the problems we are trying to solve for those users.

And every PM, designer and user researcher has to bring this hunger and urgency to their team and the work we do. With this structure, we have been able to scale gracefully, build user-persona-level specialization and maximize our customer value delivery. Over the last three months, we’ve almost doubled the size of our product team, which will open up the opportunity for us to evolve the structure of our team in exciting ways. Split current geographical divisions into multiple smaller ones to account for significant differences among regional markets, such as differences between the European market and the market in the Middle East.

Our greatest asset is our collective and multiplicative brains and, therefore, maintaining diverse thinking is my number one priority. I’m always thinking about how to set up healthy people-manager structures in addition to building teams with diverse experience and skills. I see our team growing more as we finish 2020 and embark on new projects in 2021 for two reasons. First, the existing flows we’ve built in the past year will continue to grow via hands-on optimization.


No matter the exact structure of their product teams, these leaders place a high value on empowering their product pros to feel a real sense of ownership. The product org atOokla— an internet intelligence and testing application provider — keeps its teams small to drive collaboration and skills development. VP of Product Travis Wright said smaller teams empower product pros with more agency, freedom to work across departments and opportunities to advance their individual skills. When we hire new people, we look for a combination of experience, a willingness to be wrong, try and learn, and an insatiable appetite to get out there and deliver as a team. Healthcare technology is a specialist space, and direct experience and technical knowledge are extremely valuable.

  • The 16 product leaders below said variety in their product team roster helps them recognize success both for the business and their team members.
  • In 2020, we had three Chicago-based teams advance to Slalom’s global hackathon — and one of them won!
  • In addition, this structure allows for teams to move nimbly and autonomously, having the resources and context to build and iterate without lots of synchronization.
  • Another recent project was developing an app to enable an exceptional travel experience.
  • At the end of the day, we want our product managers to jump out of bed in the morning and be passionate about the opportunity to make a bigger impact on the customers we serve.
  • Many solutions sparked from hackathons have gone on to become capabilities, like our IoT lab and immersive (AR/VR/MR) product development capabilities.

The first version of our product was designed to address the intelligent document processing needs of our customers and was structured around the core functions of data classification and extraction. As a company, we believe in the power of automation to transform how businesses operate, serve their customers and manage their human resources. Our product team is organized so that each product manager leads a cross-functional squad that works on a particular part of the product. Each squad includes our engineering and design teams, along with people from across the company who are key to achieving the goal. Raina Christlieb,Expedia Group’s senior director of product management, values product teams with well-rounded skill sets.

A major advantage of IBM’s organizational structure is its alignment with the company’s aims for continued business growth based on innovation. For example, the corporate structure enables the business to prioritize efforts to develop products that match market demand and emerging trends in the information technology industry. Such efforts are aligned with IBM’s generic strategy and intensive growth strategies.

As such, we want to bring the best of other industry approaches to bear on healthcare, so we don’t just hire healthcare expertise but rather across all industry segments. We look for someone who embraces the unknown and the ‘art of the possible’ and challenges the status quo. At the end of the day, we want our product managers to jump out of bed in the morning and be passionate about the opportunity to make a bigger impact on the customers we serve. When I started in April 2019, it was just Zach and I building our team from scratch. Our primary focus was to increase consumer touchpoints through alternative marketing channels. As we built out various new experiences like e-commerce, chat, email and SMS flows, we also increased our headcount to help manage all of the new products.

Big Decisions For Your Product Roadmap

We also invested in product operations (we are hiring!) who serve as the connective tissue between those building products and our customer-facing teams. We come from a diverse range of product backgrounds, which helps enable and challenge each other to think of our user problems from different perspectives. We’re currently a lean team, organized according to the Software Product Development Company users, channels and the content of the experiences we aim to serve. We have a highly collaborative and cross-functional relationship mode of working to ensure that we’re ultimately optimizing what’s best for the user. In order to scale quickly, we have augmented our team with external resources and opened full-time roles to hire behind them for the long term.

Larry Colagiovanni said the product team structure atLimeade— an employee experience software company— changed to create more overall alignment. The CTO said putting the content team under the product umbrella with PMs and UX pros improved the company’s product strategy. The requirements vary depending on the layers of our team and range from highly technical in our system integration layer to the most business-oriented roles in our verticals layer. In general, a preferred qualification for senior roles is experience in enterprise software.

The product team at project44 is a part of a bigger product and services organization that allows us to apply a more customer-centric, outcome-based approach to everything we do. This type of structure is cross-functional and highly collaborative, meaning each team focuses on a specific area that can serve multiple products across our portfolio. As the team has grown, we have evolved from a dedicated product manager per product or service to the product squads structure. Having one product manager per product had its advantages but as we have expanded our very complex and diverse portfolio of customers, product squads have become essential for owning the product strategy and meeting customer needs.

Great Companies Need Great People That’s Where We Come In

Traditional organizations try to solve this problem with bureaucracy and top-down management, leading to politics and inefficiency. We believe in turning the problem on its head, so we’ve built an organization that mimics our long-term product architecture from the ground up. For that reason, we designed our product, design and engineering organization into loosely coupled and tightly aligned squads, grouped in layers, to represent core modules of our user experience. These are three distinct sets of users, with three distinct sets of challenges, so it makes sense to create a separate focus for each on our team. One of the essential areas of responsibility for product leaders is setting up the organizational structure of the product development department. For an overview, read my high-level article on product leadership responsibilities, or continue reading for a deep dive on org design.

In two-week focused periods, we work as a cross-disciplinary team to refine, design and sequentially build the individual capabilities of the product. What’s unique about Slalom’s approach is that we’re always thinking about how we can make sure that our clients’ team is prepared to maintain, support and scale the product. One way that we do this is by embedding our team members seamlessly into client teams, as well as creating teams where clients play specific roles. This creates a lot of opportunities for knowledge transfer — and ultimately that supports better outcomes for the product and positively influences user adoption. Modern consulting firmSlalomfocuses on strategy, technology and business transformation to best serve its customers.

In 2020, we had three Chicago-based teams advance to Slalom’s global hackathon — and one of them won! Many solutions sparked from hackathons have gone on to become capabilities, like our IoT lab and immersive (AR/VR/MR) product development capabilities. We’re always looking to build products that are frictionless, viable and feasible. We construct our teams around these core product focus areas and help develop our teams’ strengths in each of these elements.

There are a few non-negotiable soft skills for product people in my experience but otherwise, the most important consideration is dependent on the task at hand and the balance of the collective skills across the team. I believe that the most effective teams are diverse in background, experience and skills. If the team is leaning heavy on design thinking but light technically, that’s a problem. On the other hand, if the team is leaning heavily on financial acumen, but light on customer success, that’s not great either.

software product development organizational structure

Our vision is to create a consumer-centric, technology-enabled healthcare platform that provides a simple, delightful experience for users, improves health outcomes and lowers costs for the system. Tech and logistics companyproject44provides advanced supply chain visibility to shippers and third-party logistics firms. The company’s product team is structured in “product squads,” allowing for each team to focus on a specific area that can serve multiple products, Senior Product Manager Jeff Love said.

Such innovation and product development mirror the priorities in IBM’s strategies for growth and expansion in international operations. In relation, employees fulfill their job requirements and make decisions within their limits based on the corporate structure. These effects are an indication of the significance of structural features in facilitating IBM’s success in the global information technology industry.

Ibms Organizational Structure & Product Management

Somewhat paradoxically, we also look for a certain open-mindedness and receptivity to new information and new perspectives. Our cross-functional and collaborative approach, with tight feedback loops from our users, is particularly important given the nature of our work. There are some things we know from previous collective experience and observing others in the space, but there are still many unknowns that we’ll manage and navigate.

Shifting From A Project

We recently expanded the team with additional product managers to better support our bifurcated horizontal and vertical frameworks. Our product managers also used to act as scrum masters for their teams and we shifted toward having dedicated project managers. It’s critical that our product managers spend time doing market and customer research and opportunity analysis. But in reality, they were spending the vast majority of their time managing projects and dealing with issues there. Introducing dedicated project managers took some of that burden off of them so they could spend more time getting closer to our customers and their needs, and helping us build better products.

People in enterprise software tend to show a higher sense of user-empathy than B2C, which is important since we are not the users of the products we are building. To keep employees on the same page during periods of rapid growth at fintech companyPetal, VP of Product Roy Simkhay said product managers must emphasize transparency. Each PM leads a cross-functional squad consisting of engineers, designers and select people from across departments focused on the squad’s goal.

Building The Product For Your Company And Others

For example, an experience design expert ensures desirability and a frictionless experience; a solution owner informs market and feature viability; and a technical engineer builds for feasibility. Our solution owners, a unique role to Slalom, combine the strengths of business analysts, product owners and scrum masters. Digital media companyCenterfielduses a proprietary big data platform to provide clients with customized marketing and sales insights. In order to increase consumer touchpoints through alternative marketing channels, Senior Product Manager Graham Dee and SVP of Digital Zach Robbins hired two product managers, two designers and one retention marketing manager. Vertical, industry-driven expertise is an important part of how the product team at customer acquisition tech companyMediaAlphais structured. VP of Product Management Robert Perine said focused expert knowledge offers PM team members a greater sense of ownership in their roles.

We, therefore, optimize for learning and iteration, with a clear focus on the users we are serving. We are working with clients across industries on innovative ideas and complex technical projects. New members need a foundational knowledge of tech so that they can start working fast.

There are two main characteristics that I’ve had resounding success in determining an engineering hire. Every expert in their field runs into unexpected problems on a nearly daily basis — it’s the nature of our work. An insatiable curiosity and willingness to learn is the best medicine to overcome software engineering challenges. And second, an engineering candidate must be able to demonstrate critical reasoning.