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Triad Magic: How Product, Design, and Engineering Work Better Together

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Three is a magic number when it comes to team composition at Atlassian. In fact, as early as 2013 we have been advocating Triads – teams formed around the three core areas of software development: Product, Design and Engineering.

In this session, Atlassian Product Manager, Steve King, will dissect the triad he works in and demonstrate how his team manages shared and individual responsibilities to build trust and take product changes across the finish line. He will share lessons learned along the way along with tips and tricks for forming your own successful triads.

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Triad Magic: How Product, Design, and Engineering Work Better Together

  1. 1. Team Triads How product, design and engineering work better together. STEVE KING | SERVER PRODUCT MANAGER | @STEVEATHON
  2. 2. SUMMIT, 2017
  3. 3. Modern software development A remix. Photographer; Source (example.flickr.com)
  4. 4. What’s a triad? A leadership team within the development team creating balance between the business, the customer and the product. Photographer; Source (example.flickr.com)
  5. 5. Engineering What does a software team triad look like? ProductDesign
  6. 6. Triads and the balance of responsibility. Balancing responsibility across multiple roles is about sharing the ownership equally? The magic. Engineering DesignProduct
  7. 7. Triads are great, but they are a guiding structure for the whole team. Photographer; Source (example.flickr.com)
  8. 8. So a triad is prescriptive - and it just works? TRIADS IN TEAMS
  9. 9. What other triads exist in Atlassian? Workplace experience is another team where you see the triad operating, but not like we do in software teams.
  10. 10. People Experience team triad CohesionProperty
  11. 11. Service Team Continuous value delivery through a faster pipeline. Product Team Slower delivery of value but in larger pieces of work. Our team type
  12. 12. Traditional team formation FORMING OUR TEAM
  13. 13. Team formation goals Team goals Why does our team exist, how will we measure our success. Team structure How will we structure ourselves for success and deliver against our goals. Delivery style How will we deliver value to customers and stakeholders and on what schedule.
  14. 14. Signs of trouble. LEARN AND ADAPT
  15. 15. LEARN AND ADAPT Team formation First roadmap in place Delivering on roadmap Missing deadlines Can’t seem to make fast decisions June July Aug Oct Dec
  16. 16. What did we do to fix it?
  17. 17. Identify the problems We were lacking momentum - spending too much time planning. Unable to make decisions, or agree as a leadership group. Get clear about our measurable goals Demonstrate value to stakeholders and customers
  18. 18. TRUST
  19. 19. Triad rebalance Realizing that there’s some shared responsibility, but making sure we’re clear about how to get decisions made. The magic. Engineering DesignProduct
  20. 20. Engaged a program manager to help us out. BUILDING A TRIAD
  21. 21. Like doctors?
  22. 22. Clear process. BUILDING A TRIAD
  23. 23. CLEAR PROCESS We built a ‘how we work’
  24. 24. CLEAR PROCESS Release Review Review Define Refine Define Refine BuildDiscover
  25. 25. Clear ownership. BUILDING A TRIAD
  26. 26. Roles and responsibilities play.
  27. 27. Now we find the balance. Mixes of shared responibility, with different levels of crossover on each role depending on the project. The real magic™. Engineering DesignProduct
  28. 28. Product Manager Represent the customer, the wider business and the stakeholders to the team and vice versa. Development Lead Deliver the feature to the product, ensure reliability and stability and respond to issues. Design Lead Make the product coherent and provides the voice and personality for the product. The triad and the tribe.
  29. 29. Product Manager Represent the customer, the wider business and the stakeholders to the team and vice versa. Development Lead Deliver the feature to the product, ensure reliability and stability and respond to issues. Design Lead Make the product coherent and provides the voice and personality for the product. The triad and the tribe.
  30. 30. Product Manager Represent the customer, the wider business and the stakeholders to the team and vice versa. Development Lead Deliver the feature to the product, ensure reliability and stability and respond to issues. Design Lead Make the product coherent and provides the voice and personality for the product. The triad and the tribe.
  31. 31. Communicate with eachother. BUILDING A TRIAD
  32. 32. Individual factors Remember the team is made up of individuals with different skills, experience and personalities. COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER.
  33. 33. Organisational factors Internal and external factors of the organization and the teams role within it. COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER.
  34. 34. Team factors Value the team and make time for team cohensiveness. COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER.
  35. 35. Build respect. BUILDING A TRIAD
  36. 36. TRUST
  37. 37. Build respect. Learn the process, Refine the process.
  38. 38. Build respect. Impact on other teams and new starters.
  39. 39. Build respect. Mutual accountability.
  40. 40. Learn.
  41. 41. Too much product. LEARN
  42. 42. Express lane. LEARN
  43. 43. Discovery Support Issues Customer Interviews Analysis Customer Pain Validation Express lane.
  44. 44. Analysis Customer Pain Validation Top of the funnel PM Review Customer Value / Product Fit Envisioning and prioritization Build Ship to Master Express lane.
  45. 45. Customer Value / Product Fit Envisioning and prioritization Build Ship to Master Ship to Customer Express lane.
  46. 46. Discovery Support Issues Customer Interviews Analysis Customer Pain Validation Top of the funnel PM Review Customer Value / Product Fit Envisioning and prioritization Build Ship to Master Ship to Customer Express lane.
  47. 47. We don’t have some things on our team.
  48. 48. Blame. LEARN
  49. 49. Overly negative thinking. LEARN
  50. 50. What can you do to start your journey towards a triad, or improve the process in your team? TAKE AWAY Photographer; Source (example.flickr.com)
  51. 51. TAKE AWAY Be a catalyst! start small, keep tinkering
  52. 52. TAKE AWAY Fail fast! but always learn from your mistakes.
  53. 53. TAKE AWAY Know your strengths of you and your wider team
  54. 54. TAKE AWAY Embrace change! but try to focus on the things that you don’t do well first.
  55. 55. TAKE AWAY bit.ly/team-playbook Go see our Program Managers out in the Expo hall.
  56. 56. Questions? STEVE KING | SERVER PRODUCT MANAGER | @STEVEATHON
  57. 57. Thank you! STEVE KING | SERVER PRODUCT MANAGER | @STEVEATHON

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