9 Tips for Better Product Collaboration with Engineering

Megan Berry
May 9, 2016 · 5 min read

Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned leading product at Octane AI and RebelMouse:

1. Start With Why

If you hire smart engineers and you just ask them to do things without explaining why you:

  1. Risk demotivation because they don’t understand the value of the feature they’re working on.
  2. Lose time because they might have had a better (quicker) way to solve the same problem you had taken the time to explain it to them.
  3. Potentially have a misunderstanding in a nuance (or even a bigger part) of the product flow that could have been figured out earlier had you all realized the common goal you were working towards.
If the engineering team is wondering this after you finish talking, you’re doing it wrong.

2. Be Open to Feedback and Changes

3. Use Designs as a Tool for Mutual Understanding, Not Something Set in Stone

Oh the irony

4. Test, Test, Test

5. Your Highest Priority Task is Anything Engineering is Waiting For

But my product team knows that engineers come first. Nothing has higher priority than answering an engineer’s question on the task they’re working on or helping them test it if they think it’s ready. With that, we also try to make sure that whenever we are asking engineers to go above and beyond for a deadline we are right there with them, ready to test, answer a question, or tell the client when the feature goes live.

6. Be the Voice of Your Customers

7. When You Succeed, Thank Them. When You Fail, Look to Yourself First.

Also, when things go well, send a GIF high five. No one has ever had enough GIF high fives.

Yesssss

8. It’s Business but it’s Also Personal

9. End with Why

This is not a good “why”

The MVP

Marketing.

The  MVP

Marketing. Venture. Personal Development. A guide to startups, marketing, design, and personal development.

Megan Berry

Written by

VP of Product @OctaneAI. Previously VP Product @RebelMouse, Community @Klout. Stanford grad.

The  MVP

Marketing. Venture. Personal Development. A guide to startups, marketing, design, and personal development.