Tips for Tiny Teams

2 min read


Tips for Tiny Teams

That is: one Product Owner + one Developer

Notes from my interview with PLM consultant Carsten Holm.

Specify it right

There’s a sweet spot in specifying:

Over-specifying kills momentum, while under-specifying leads to incorrect results.

Watch out for these signs of trouble:

  • endless questions from developers and a vague scope mid-sprint indicate under-specification
  • minor changes causing major derailments and frequently changing specs suggest over-specification.

Apply the 80/20 Rule

80% of specifications should come from the product owner and 20% from users.

Speed through Experience

Help your developer understand the business domain to improve solutions and decrease feedback cycles.

Hire Experienced Developers

Consider hiring a developer who has already worked in the domain. This can significantly save time.

Own Problems Together

Foster transparency to build trust and avoid blame. At my agency, we notify clients instantly about disruptions that could cause delays, enhancing trust and collaboration.

Learn How to Prioritize

Maintain a ruthless focus on priorities. Reality dictates one developer can only handle one task at a time. Avoid multitasking as it wastes time and diminishes efficiency.

Unified Team Focus

Maintain a single focus across the team to ensure sanity and efficiency.

Jeff Bezos’ Single-Threaded Leadership

Assign one accountable owner per initiative to maximize efficiency and avoid miscommunication, as practiced in Amazon’s two-pizza teams.

Source: AWS

What’s Your Top Tip?

What’s your top tip for PO/Dev success? Comment below!

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Till Carlos

I'm Till, a senior developer who started a software company. I explain software concepts for people in leading roles.