TL;DR

Leadership: I’m seeing a problem that needs fixing! Everyone: We will brainstorm solutions! PM: This solution is best, I’ll make sure it gets done well! Design: Sounds good, I drew a picture of it! Tech Lead: Pretty! I know how to build this. Engineers: We built it. QA: Looks great! Everyone: Looks great! Growth: Hey world, here’s a new feature! Leadership / PM / Growth: Good news, they loved it!

Roles

Leadership advisor

The leadership advisor frames the problem that the pod needs to solve.

They set goals for the quarter, ensure the pod is resourced properly, track the pod's KPI, and offer guidance wherever possible.

The leadership advisor represents the pod to the leadership team. They escalate issues from the pod when necessary, advocate for staffing changes, and connect dots across pods to resolve issues.

The leadership advisor does not drive the product development process. They rely on their PM to lead solution brainstorming and execute on the roadmap.

Product manager

The PM drives the pod's daily product development cycle.

The PM is responsible for defining the what the pod is building and why. They facilitate the defining of the roadmap and own its execution. They think carefully about the priority of each project and ensure high-quality work.

The PM works with the tech lead to negotiate timelines on each feature. They track and communicates each feature's status to the broader team.

The PM seeks consistent input from the leadership advisor to understand the company's priorities. They regularly groom the pod's feature backlog to make sure those priorities are captured.

Tech lead

The tech lead is responsible for the technical execution of the pod.

The tech lead is the primary engineer on a pod, architecting each feature. They define and delegate technical tasks across their engineering team.

The tech lead works closely with the PM, providing technical feedback on upcoming features and negotiating timelines and scope. Once planned, it is the tech lead's job to ensure features work as expected and are released on time.

It's worth noting, the tech lead is not an engineering manager. They are not responsible for holding 1-1s or providing professional guidance and feedback.

Growth

Growth is the liason between the pod and the customer.

Growth takes insights they're gathering from conversations with customers and use them to add context to the problems the pod is tackling. They represent the customer when evaluating potential solutions and giving feedback on features.

Growth collects feedback on newly released work to help guide iteration and improvement post-launch.

Engineer

The engineer executes on the tasks required to build each new feature.

The engineer reviews new features with the tech lead and PM, help define break out individual tasks to complete each feature, and estimate the effort associated with each task to ensure the feature's timeline is achievable. They spend most of their day planning and executing on those tasks, making sure to keep the team up to date on their status and surface potential blockers along the way.

Designer

The designer creates designs to validate and build each new feature.

The designer's job is to help define product specs with the PM and to translate those specs into design deliverables that communicate a feature's requirements to the engineering team. They create prototypes to help validate ideas with customers before building them. They provide meticulous design feedback on each new feature to ensure quality standards remain high on everything the pod ships.