How to Reorganize your Team Based on the Product Development Journey

Vijay Kothandaraman

Head of Engineering at VMware Inc.



What works for a five-person team won't work the same for 10, which will in turn not work for 50, and so forth. It is imperative to figure out what processes and people are required to effectively scale the organization.

Actions taken

  • Constantly ask yourself if you are building for the future.
  • Play scenarios out in your mind and do not always act in the moment.
  • Process yourself a year out and value what your team is going to look like at that point in time. From there you can figure out the gaps you have in your current situation and plan to bridge them as you move along.
  • At some point, as you scale, you may need to change from generalists to domain expert specialists who can build the organization to run independently.
  • Evaluate the evolution of the management and technology teams. Figure out if they are operating for the growth of the company or still working as if it were a small organization.

Lessons learned

  • Evolve the process based on the business needs in all three categories: people, process, and tools. Just because something worked before at a particular developmental stage, doesn't mean it will work again at a different stage.
  • Make the hard decision to see if there are the right employees at every level or else your growth will be hampered. This is good for both the company and for its evolution. People will often outgrow their roles and need to either be hired for the right one or let them transition out on their own.
  • Technology is a very fast-changing field, do not be naive to the fact that it will in one way or another change the course of your plans.
  • Do not build an organization for now. Build it for the future or you will end up restructuring every 6 months.

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Vijay Kothandaraman

Head of Engineering at VMware Inc.

Leadership DevelopmentOrganizational StrategyEngineering ManagementTechnical ExpertiseCareer GrowthCareer Progression

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