On a number of occasions, I have been asked how to build out a Growth team or department.
Similar to most organisation design shifts, there is no perfect way, there is no perfect structure, however, it requires much planning and a breakdown of:
- What you are trying to achieve,
- What you believe you need to improve,
- Who is best placed to help in the most effective tests
- If this needs to be part of a different department or its own department.
In my Growth Coaching role, we often develop out frameworks and methodologies for the Department or company leaders to get the most out of Growth and their existing people.
We often land on SWOT teams and re-pointing resources into the right areas.
SWOT Teams Work
I typically recommend dedicated resources based on a SWOT team, a core set of specialists who can work together on solving specific problems and recruit the best of the best specialist internal SWOT team members (colleagues to help within their own specialities).
This way you build up trust, muscle memory and a way for your colleagues to know this is the core unit and they would look forward to joining the SWOT team and adding their specialist skills.
The best SWOT teams I have created or worked in include:
- A Product Manager – ownership of shaping Product thinking, ticket shaping, owning the delivery, internal communications and tracking success are all must-have skills and deliverables
- Full-stack developers – 2-3 who work closely with the PM to build out the right tech solution with tracking built-in
- A Designer with a Product lens – A dedicated Product Designer is not always necessary, however, a designer who can shape ideas quickly, think about UI and UX and work with Developers and Marketers will be priceless
In larger SWOTs’s a Marketer who will think about the customers and deliver a campaign for maximum reach and adoption will be critical.
A strong Product Marketer who has a good background and understanding of paid and organic search will be vitally important as a full-time resource or the ideal campaign and contributing partner.
Growth Framework Explained
A framework I like to use is detailed, it sets people up for success with a deliberate and dedicated approach to:
- building out their ideas,
- stress testing enough in their head before pitching them,
- it breaks down the ideas into categories so they can be compared or paired with other ideas,
- it has taken into consideration the part(s) of the funnel it influences and improves
- then dives into what success looks like – with what tracking and success metrics, how the test will run and how much resource is required.
The key here is to really place emphasis on the ideas and how to break down the idea, the what, the why.
The how and the when should be decided by the Growth team.
Constant, deliberate and transparent communications win for everyone involved.
Helping to shape the idea, develop the thinking and taking the time to review collectively is the difference between a right now idea and a not right now idea.
Businesses have to have the ability to set others up for success, especially when collaborating cross-functionally.
The best ideas never come from one person, one team or one department, ideas come from anyone across the business, it is often the framing or who sells in the ideas that make the idea come to life.
The framing is essential and has to be fair and non-political.
The HiPPO or the person with the most senior title shouldn’t be responsible for the ideas or telling you what ideas you should pursue, the Growth framework should qualify this for you and your business.
The reminder to your business and within your business on every occasion should be: Anyone can and should submit ideas.
The Growth Framework
- Growth Idea
- Testing Category
- Part of the funnel
- Business Area
- I am a x & I need to y statement
- Why are we looking to run this test
- What does this test prove?
- What does success look like?
— Growth Team To Edit Below Here —
- Proposed tracking of success
- Internal Tech Effort
- Resources Required
- Partner Resources Required
- Notes – the important notes that will explain the most important missing information or add in any requirements or budget requests connected to this.
A tip for success: Create a template and open this up on your wiki or via your document service (Microsoft or Google docs).
A dedicated home vs a document helps to add an increased importance level on the completion of the template and shows others ideas and how they completed the framework.
Recommendation For Success
I also recommend that you:
- A wiki you keep up to date and share information, insights and links to FAQ’s etc
- Keep a roadmap, easy to understand and find
- Have a weekly standup that anyone can join and interact with – this should include what’s gone out, what the results are and how you are progressing in a digestible way
- Product demo’s every two weeks (or how you run your sprints, your battle will be how you can keep on top of this weekly, fortnightly vs monthly) so the business understands the features you are building, how they work and where you can find the most important information
Setting up a Growth Department or Growth Team is hard work, it took me six months to pitch and introduce the SWOT team approach for a previous role and it was one of the most important and successful steps we made.
The Future of Growth is creating the best Product features for your consumers, connecting to your brand experiences, alongside developing out being a platform (media company). The only way to do this is by having ringfenced Product resources with supporting development team or a dedicated Growth team that won’t be weighted down by existing issues, conflicting roadmaps and tech debt.
For help setting up with Growth Team or Department or you need advisory on existing teams, get in contact below.
Read The Growth Case Studies