Product:Engineering ratio

  • 25 July 2022
  • 5 replies
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Hi All,

I am looking to validate our Product to Engineering ratio - could people share any data point they have from their startups?

Raj


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5 replies

Userlevel 7
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Our tribes are one PM, one design, one lead engineer (the classic triad or trio). Our teams are usually one PM to five to eight engineers total (including the lead).

Userlevel 6
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Our tribes are one PM, one design, one lead engineer (the classic triad or trio). Our teams are usually one PM to five to eight engineers total (including the lead).

I support this ratio as well. 
That’s not how we’re currently structured, but this is the ideal ratio when you’re working on features and you’re segmenting out based on project/area of product. You may want fewer engineers, depending on the breadth of scope (just my opinion). 

Userlevel 5
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I think this would all depend on the size and scale of a product really. For GridBuddy Connect there's 1 PM (Myself), 1 Eng lead (who is shared across other products) and about 3 engineers + 1 QA resource. 

Userlevel 5
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I’ve gotten by on shoestring PM resources in a start-up scenario where you …

  • Are trying to build fast without burning through your cash
  • Have lots of early discovery information that drove a solid proto
  • Have a reliable base of reference customers
  • Need to build multiple components in parallel requiring a lot of eng horsepower to scale up

For the early phases, one senior PM can manage a few associate / junior PMs (we used to call these business analysts, but seems to be a dirty word these days). Each of the juniors handles the day to day with 3-5 engineers. A single trio of Sr PM, Sr Engineer, and Product Designer work like mad to stay ahead of the teams and help them clarify any issues that come up during delivery.

That scenario has worked pretty well for me up to 5 development teams. After that, you should have enough resources to either start promoting your associates or hiring more senior talent. You’ll need more product designers to support the Sr PD too.

Userlevel 3
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So in our case it is: one product manager, one-two product designers, one technical leader and up to 4 more engineers. We have some shared QA specialists in the whole organization, but we also automate A LOT, so we don’t have that much need for them in our individual teams.

This 1:2:5 ratio works the best for us in the current size of the organization (<100 people in Product Development). Especially, because our TLs also take care of personal agendas and we often times have two teams cooperating (with one PM) on a development of a new functionality.