The Best Way to Form a Product Team From Scratch

Reza Shirazi

Senior Product Manager at AffiniPay



"My company put me in charge of forming a new product team from scratch which was a daunting task."

Actions taken

"My strategy was to find a mix of internal people that were not necessarily experienced in product management but had a lot of domain expertise in our industry and our technology along with some external and more senior level product managers who were good at product management but did not have the domain expertise. I did this because both really matter and it would have taken a lot of time to bring in product managers from the outside to learn about our company. We wanted a mix of both so that they could help each other with their weak areas. For the internal hires, I analyzed their domain knowledge and how technically savvy they were. For the external hires, I looked for strong product knowledge fundamentals and the ability to mentor junior product managers."

Lessons learned

"Both of my internal hires did very well. Their main challenges were the process of product management, balancing the tactical and strategic areas of their responsibility, and managing their product teams. That didn't happen right away, but the senior product managers were good mentors for them and over time, we built a well-performing team."

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Reza Shirazi

Senior Product Manager at AffiniPay

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