Mission teams on digital product development

How to develop a mission team and why this is crucial for Digital Product Management

As Product Managers, we continuously make new demands on the product development team. Our approach can immensely change how the team assumes the product and how deeply committed they are to its purposes. We can develop an engaged business objective team by bringing them missions instead of tasks or requirements.

 How to develop a mission team

Setting missions to the team makes them able to conceive any possibilities to achieve them. Give them empowerment so that they feel responsible for the product’s success or failure. When it comes to accomplishing a mission, most of the time a mission-driven team will bring cheaper and faster alternatives to the table than those first ideas conceived by stakeholders and product owners.

Let’s examine an exemplifying case: you lead an e-commerce app development, and one of its desired requirements is the Paypal integration at the checkout step. Integrations shouldn’t be merely about APIs documentation, Soap or Rest services, parameters, authentication tokens, etc. These pieces of information are definitely valuable, but your team must know what is behind that. In this case, one hypothesis is that Paypal integration could increase checkout conversion by 20%. And that should be the team’s mission!

Otherwise, they will have completed a task by finishing this integration, and then they will naturally move on to the next backlog item development.

Nevertheless, after finishing the development, the next step is to measure the conversion rate improvement. Have we achieved our mission? If not, the team will seek out other alternatives, create other hypotheses, and manage efforts to validate those.

How to develop a mission team

With this approach, the members of the team become more self-sufficient when it comes to missions. They are, in fact, passionate about the product and strive to make it work. They take a successful outcome as a business purpose achievement, even if the delivered scope ends up completely different from what was initially conceived. They stand for it, disseminating this concept to the product’s stakeholders and other interested actors.

Making business purpose achievements attainable shouldn’t be only up to the product’s manager, but also a development team’s intent. And the most excellent path to cultivate this level of engagement is by sharing business missions with them.

By Evellyn Zagui de Almeida, Product Manager 


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