The list below is taken from the "Inspired" Book (see PM & UX Readinglist)
Defining the roles involved in Product & ratio's
- UX (User Experience) Designer / Interaction designer (also known as information architect, user interface designer, and user experience architect). These people are responsible for developing a deep understanding of the target users (each persona that you’re trying to satisfy in your product), and coming up with the tasks, navigation, and flow that are both usable and productive. A good product requires a good user experience. And a good user experience requires the close collaboration of product management and user experience design.Generally, the designer maps product requirements to a design represented by wireframes, and passes them to the visual designer. The role commonly includes usability testing: analysis of the users, evaluating whether products or prototypes allow a given user to easily achieve objectives. It includes recruiting appropriate test subjects, administering the tests, evaluating the results. You need one UX designer per 2 scrum teams.
- UI designers. These people put the flesh on the wireframe and create the actual pages and user interface look and feel, which includes everything from the precise layout, colors, and fonts, but more importantly, the visual design communicates and evokes emotion in the product (which is far more important than you may think). One per 2-4 interaction designers.
- Product / UX Researchers
- Project Managers. The author argues that internet companies need release managers, not project managers.
- Engineering. Software developers. 2-6 engineers per scrum team.
- Operations. Responsible for keeping the applications up and running and releasing new features.
- Product Marketing. the role of product marketing is to tell the world about this product
- Product managers. The product manager has two key responsibilities: assessing product opportunities (Product Discovery), and defining – in detail - the product to be built. It’s easy for the product management team to be consumed in the details and pressures of producing detailed specs rather than looking at the market opportunity and discovering a winning product strategy and roadmap. Product marketing or project management are not core. For project management implement scrum and use a release manager. One product manager for every 5-10 engineers
- Probably the single most important lesson I’ve learned in the product business is to start by seeking out the smartest people in the company. when you do find these people, you can use them any number of ways. I like to consider these people “deputy product managers”
Image source: UX studio team
Ideal FTE Ratio's
In a fictional world with 3 scrum teams where everybody is full time, without any "side projects" (i.e. BI, management) and at least of medior level. Based on the list above plus my own (Bert) experience. Ideal amazon team size excl PO = 6.:
- 12 developers (4 per team. 3-5 per team = 9-15 developers)
- 2 devops (1-2)
- 3 Product managers
- 2 testers
- 2 UX/visual designers who also do the visual design.
- For Enterprise product: Implementation consultants (aka solution architects)
Ratio: 7 persons in other roles / 14 devs (incl ops) = 50%. Current ratio (excl intern): 3 PM+ 1 test + 1 ux / 8 devs = 62% (although actually not 3 fulltime PM's)
The Product Management role (in an Agile world)
- The product manager is the product owner, and he represents the customer.
- Using Agile is not an excuse for a lack of product planning.
- You and your designers should always try and be one or two sprints ahead of your team.
- Break the design work into as small and as independent chunks as possible, but not too small—make sure you don’t try to design a house one room at a time.
- But remember the emphasis on coming up with the minimal product possible.
- As a product manager/owner, your main responsibility is to come up with valuable and usable prototypes and user stories that your team can build from. Replace heavy PRDs and functional specs with prototypes and user stories. Do prototypes for three reasons: (1) so you can test with real users, (2) to force yourself to think through the issues; and (3) so you have a good way to describe to engineering what you need built during the sprint.
- Let engineering further break up the tasks into whatever granularity they prefer. (Note: according to scrum best practices user stories should each deliver some user value and be testable, however stories can be further split up into tasks).
- Make sure you as product manager/owner and your interaction designer are at every daily status meeting (aka standup or daily scrum).
- Designers should be previewing functionality to the developers and QA. Developers should be showing off completed code to each other, QA
- Don’t launch every sprint—reassemble sprint results in a staging area until you have enough to make a release as defined by the product manager/owner.
- At the end of each sprint, make sure you demo the current state of the product, as well as the prototype for the next sprint. Having everyone see what you finished validates the team’s hard work, gives the entire company insight into the product, and keeps the evangelism going.
- Get Agile training for your entire team. Hire a consultant to help your product team move to Agile, but make sure the consultant has proven experience with product software teams and understands the difference between product software and IT or custom software.