How to Build a Great Product Team Structure

Product team structure can vary. There is no one-size-fits-all structure for product teams. In smaller companies, the product teams are organized around a single product, different products, or product lines of a company. If the products are large and complex, the product team structure can be based on product features, customer segment, or a specific business or customer need.

When a start-up becomes a larger technology company, it’s necessary to ensure full alignment as the product team grows. Find out more and read this post outlining the methods for scaling product teams.

What is a product team?

The product team’s job is to assess and understand the customer problem that the product will solve and collect their feedback and needs. Based on this, the product team’s job is to understand the customer problem that the product will solve and collect their feedback and needs. Based on this, the product team defines the core product features and leads the product development process.

Main functions of the product team:

  • Product vision development
  • Product strategy creation
  • Product development
  • Data analyses and research
  • Feedback collection
  • Product Validation

The product team is led by at least one product manager. The product manager’s job is to plan and coordinate the work within the team and with the customer and other stakeholders involved in product development, such as senior management, marketing, sales, research, data analytics, legal, or finance teams. It requires a wide range of complex skills. Read more about product management skills in this blog.

The members of the product team are generally:

  • The product manager(s) or in the Spotify squad model, the team is led by a product owner
  • Developers
  • Q&A people (test managers)
  • Product designers and/or UX designers
  • Business analysts
  • Data analysts

What is the difference between product teams and product development teams?

Both are agile and have the same ultimate goal: to deliver value to the customer. The main difference is that product teams work primarily to assess and plan “what to develop and why”.

Product teams are responsible for understanding customer needs, building something new that the customers want and love, and bringing it to market. The product team creates the customer personas, user stories, and story maps, and prepares the product roadmap.

Product development teams are working on the implementation. They’re usually agile dev teams with tasks, backlogs, and sprints.

What is the product team structure?

n effective product team structure is necessary because it helps the organization to allocate roles and skills as efficiently as possible. There are many ways to build product teams that have worked well for other companies.

Every product team needs well-defined roles and a solid structure. But it all starts with a clear product vision and a product strategy that is clear to everyone, setting out common goals. This way, all product team members know throughout the project what they are working on and what the team will ultimately deliver.

Transparency and collaboration are essential and can be supported by simple and visual product management tools such as StoriesOnBoard.

StoriesOnBoard logo
Manage your product ideas and plans easier than ever, collaborate effectively by creating a shared understanding of the product vision. 

With StoriesOnBoard you can  
  • Organize product ideas into user stories
  • Manage your product backlog in a simple, visual way
  • Create your product roadmap in just minutes
Get started with StoriesOnBoard today!

14-day Free Trial. No Credit Card Required.

You might think that one product manager is enough for a product team. But as your product becomes more complex and your team grows, you can add another one to your team. Product managers can divide tasks based on their strengths and skills, or even have separate expert product managers for different product features or customer segments.

Whichever product team structure you use, there is a cornerstone you should always keep in mind:

Stay customer-centric!

The product development process is a long run: from idea to implementation, and once you’ve gone through it, many interests and points of view collide. It’s not an easy task for the product manager, but it’s their job to ensure that the user needs are always put first, and the engineering, financial and legal aspects come afterward.
The product team must operate autonomously and lead by an authorized product manager. That is, the structure of the product team should follow this principle so that it is not subordinate to other managers or teams.

How do you build a good product team structure?

Be prepared that your product team structure will change over time, following your needs.

And be prepared to answer these questions from time to time:

  • How many products should be managed?
  • Which (s) have a higher priority in revenue generation and development needs?
  • What is the complexity of these products?
  • Which product is at which point in its life cycle?

By answering these questions, you can get an idea of what kind of product team structure you should choose, so you can select the best one for your team.

What are the three types of product team structures?

Product team structure by product or by individual product features

In this simple model, assign a product manager for each product or, for more complex products, for each key product feature. In larger companies, it is common practice to appoint a Product Director or Product Management Officer as product managers’ supervisor.

The effectiveness of this structure depends on smooth collaboration and excellent communication within the company and between stakeholders.

This multi-product management model gives more room for autonomy and creativity but can lead to confrontation or lack of communication between different teams, making product development less efficient than if it were managed by one person leading a large team.

Product team structure by user personas or customer journey stages

Autonomous cross-functional teams are a good solution if your company is growing fast and needs to scale. That’s how many companies like Spotify, which develops a single product and offers a great customer experience, work.

Small teams contain developers, designers, and analysts who can quickly and efficiently produce solutions, evaluate feedback, redesign, develop and deliver, free from the decision-making hierarchies of large enterprises.

The Spotify model/product squad structure

If your product serves the needs of different user personas or customer segments, you can tailor your product teams to meet the needs of different customers and only invent solutions and features that are specifically suited to them.

If your product serves the needs of different user personas or customer segments, you can tailor your product teams to meet the needs of different customers and only invent solutions and features that are specifically suited to them.

This model serves the user experience well, but seamless collaboration between different teams can be difficult.


14-day Free Trial. No Credit Card Required.

Final Thoughts

Building a successful product team structure is neither easy nor quick. Remember that only a flexible, well-structured product team with clear goals can help you lead your product to success at any stage.

product team structures

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?