A pure engineering team usually starts with well-defined PRD and a test plan. They don’t necessarily need to envision new requirements, understand the customer, or anticipate competitors.
While both types of teams have to build software products, the composition, skills and attitudes of the two teams are quite different.
An engineering team is fully technical, and each team member is a highly skilled technical expert. They have the ability to write code according to specifications and can follow a strict development process. The team is usually led by an engineering manager who is responsible for building technology, and a project manager who is responsible for scheduling tasks, managing priorities, and negotiating the requirements scope with projects stakeholders.
A product development team has to have a combination of product management, project management, technical and design expertise. Each team member needs to understand the product’s vision and distinctive competence, customer use-cases, and know the competitor’s products. Here, the team is usually led by a product manager and an engineering lead. All team members participate in product definition and prioritization activities. It is important to facilitate developer participation in product definition activities because many valuable product and cost-saving ideas come from engineers.
Your choice of having either an engineering or a product team mostly depends on your product’s current stage and the current team structure. You can hire an engineering team if you have clearly written product specifications that include interactive mockups, use-cases and test-cases. They will build and deliver a working product. Otherwise, if you are a start-up or have a new product where requirements will arise during the product development, or you need engineering input to complete product definition than you should hire or partner with a product development team.
Here is an example of what an engineering team and a product development team both consist of (when building a product similar to Pinterest):
BeKitzur Engineering Team
- Sr. Engineering Lead Backend
- Sr. Web Developer
- Jr. Web Developer
- QA Engineer
- Project Manager
BeKitzur Product Development Team
- Product Manager
- Sr. Backend Developer
- Sr. Web Developer
- Int. Web Developer
- Sr. QA Engineer
- Visual Designer
BeKitzur provides both engineering and product development teams. Our product managers can quickly review your product plan and current team structure, and then consult on the most appropriate and beneficial way to structure your team in order to get your product to the market faster.