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A Summary of

Product vs. Feature Teams

by
Marty Cagan
Silicon Valley Product Group
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In the tech world, there are three distinct types of “product teams": delivery teams, empowered product teams, and feature teams. 

Team roles

  1. Delivery Teams: contain developers and a product owner. The product owner does administrative work, and the team is responsible for delivering output. 
  2. Empowered Product Teams: solves problems in ways that customers love.
  3. Feature Teams: all about output; features/projects provided to the team as a roadmap. The team focus is design and testing. 

PMs of Product Teams vs. Feature Teams

  1. Empowered Product Teams: product manager ensures value and viability, and must have deep knowledge of the customer, the data, the industry, and your business.
  2. Feature Teams: the value is the stakeholder’s/executive’s responsibility, and knowledge is dispersed among stakeholders. 

Consequences of Feature Team not being empowered

  • It's hard to attract and retain true product designers, and many feature team PMs haven’t worked with professional product designers.
  • The product manager role is mainly project manager, and partly (unskilled) designer.
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