Product Team Expansion Strategies from Yieldmo’s Josh Wexler

To determine the appropriate guidelines for expanding a product team, it is advantageous to review recommendations by Josh Wexler, who is currently the Chief of Staff at Yieldmo, an adtech company backed by GV, and a former Vice President of Product. Wexler’s suggested methods for developing a high-performing team and constructing a suitable framework for managing a challenging product roadmap whilst remaining consistent with the team’s core mission are highly beneficial for any organisation. By implementing Josh Wexler’s advice, organisations can successfully expand and manage their product teams.

The initial step is to determine a set of fundamental principles to guide the team

Upon joining Yieldmo, Joshua encountered a significant amount of technical debt, resulting largely from the inefficient coding practices of previous programmers, as well as management debt due to a lack of effective leadership. To facilitate the development of trust and cohesiveness among the team members, Joshua spent the first two weeks of his tenure working closely with the engineers to establish team principles. These principles are behavioural standards that assist the team in making decisions in a collaborative manner.

Fundamental beliefs held by the Yieldmo team:

  1. Prioritising people over procedures
  2. Minimal overhead is required for achieving the desired outcomes.
  3. The appropriate amount of code is necessary to reach desired destinations.
  4. Engage in process discipline and strive for perfection over a period of time.
  5. Shipping is an essential aspect of successful product delivery.
  6. Design takes precedence in our company.

Josh’s team of engineers knew that he would only implement necessary procedures to fulfil the team’s objectives, which was influenced by the principles of the Agile Manifesto. To evaluate the efficacy of each procedure, Josh recommended a trial period and his team agreed to this approach. Consequently, the team trialled daily standups for two months before incorporating them into their standard practice.

Create a strategy to facilitate company growth.

Over the past year and three months since Josh’s arrival at Yieldmo, the company has witnessed remarkable expansion. To manage this growth efficiently and enable Yieldmo to achieve its product objectives, Josh reorganised his product team and established a plan to establish a united yet independent company.

Josh clarified that the company had essentially reconstructed their entire product organisation by defining goals for relationships, processes, and technologies, and then implementing them gradually. Through the organisation’s adherence to standard operating procedures, Yieldmo’s product team and revenue both observed a year-on-year growth.

Effective leadership, personnel selection, and prioritisation are vital for appropriate optimisation.

Josh concluded his address by highlighting three key learnings from his endeavours to expand Yieldmo’s product organisation:

The criticality of leadership. Recognising the significance of leadership, Josh elaborates on his efforts to restructure and expand the team. At Yieldmo, we prioritise Servant Leadership, which advocates for leaders to prioritise the needs of team members over all other considerations.

We at Yieldmo acknowledge the paramount importance of selecting the right individuals for our team. To ensure that we choose the most appropriate candidates, we follow a four-interview process anchored in factual data. This process enables us to evaluate a potential employee’s reasoning skills, competence, alignment with our cultural values, and fit within our organisation. As Josh, our CEO attests, this approach has resulted in an exceptional cohort of skilled professionals joining our ranks.

The perils of excessive optimisation. While Josh’s team appreciated emulating multinational companies with sizeable personnel, they were aware of the need to exercise discretion and refrain from scaling operations beyond their capacity. Consequently, they opted to customise their new framework to cater to Yieldmo’s current team of over one hundred employees after careful deliberation.

Would you like to gain further insight into Josh’s tactics for identifying the appropriate team principles, formulating a successful plan, and evading common pitfalls? If you’re looking for more advice on further enhancing your product team, do not miss our latest webinar.

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