In the book Running Lean from Ash Maurya, Ash describes how to build your team. The main advice is to keep the team as small as possible.

Create a lean team.


It is good to divide your team in a “problem team” and a “solution team”.

Ash describes it as follows:

Problem team
The problem team is mostly involved with “outside-the-building” activities such as interviewing customers, running usability tests, and so on.

Solution team
The solution team is mostly involved with “inside-the-building” activities such as writing code, running tests, deploying releases, and so on.
Source: Running Lean, 2nd Edition (O’Reilly). Copyright 2012 Ash Maurya, 978-1-449-30517-8

According Ash the team should have the knowledge and experience with development, design and marketing.

If you are building a product you need strong product development skills on your team. Having prior experience building stuff is key, along with expertise in the specific technology you are rising.

By “design” I mean both aesthetic and usability. In newer markets, function can take precedence over form, but we live increasingly “design aware” world where form cannot be ignored. Also, a product is not just a collection of user flows. You need people on your team that can deliver the right experience that matches your customers’ worldview.

Everything else is marketing. Marketing drives the external perception of your product, and you need people that can put themselves in the shoes of the customer. Good copywriting and communication skills are key here, along with understanding of metrics, pricing and positioning.
Source: Running Lean, 2nd Edition (O’Reilly). Copyright 2012 Ash Maurya, 978-1-449-30517-8

My personal opinion is that if you build a team, the team members who execute the job should be assigned full-time so it is easier to stimulate thinking with the project.

We, at ContentForces have 15 years of experience with building the “lean solution team“. We have a lot of experience with software development, online marketing, designanalytics and big data solutions. As our team is mainly Polish and working from Poland, we take advantage from the cultural differences. The cultural background means that our Polish team is very creative and mostly broader skilled. Besides very eager to learn but if the decision is made it will be executed.  We have programmers that like to design. Designers that are interested in online marketing.

The “leanest” team is to hire a trainee locally as the “problem team”. The trainee should understand the problem and have affinity the potential product (for example a similar study). ContentForces delivers the “solution team” operating from Poland. The minimal team is a full-time graduate. The “solution team” is a person with marketing, design and programming skills.

If you are interested to discuss this post or you would like to have more information, then contact me entering the contact form.

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