In the sometimes siloed, remote work environment powering Tech today, a high-functioning team built on trust and efficiency is critical. After decades of working with countless business leaders and product design teams, and even writing a book about it, we know the successful teams have three primary personality types in common. 

1. The Operator

A common misconception of the Operator role is that this individual needs to be extroverted or the loudest voice in the room, but that's not the case. The most successful Operators are individuals who absorb all the information on the table and can organize conversations and activities to keep the process moving through every project phase. 

Having one person on the project team who is well-organized is a necessity. The Operator must be a focused project manager who follows a consistent and well-documented process, communicates well, and holds others accountable. They think in Systems, and live for a well organized, color-coded spreadsheet. Design team maturity is driven by a consistent, documented process, and this falls on the shoulders of the Operator.  

Without an operator, or project manager as they often are, you may assume everyone understands the process, and you may assume everyone is aligned on expectations. We don’t need to tell you what happens when we assume. Poor process, poor planning and poor communication will cost you valuable time and money.  

2. The Visionary

You probably saw this one coming! Every product team needs a prominent thinker in the group—someone who’s asking bold questions, refusing to accept the status quo, and thinking about the bigger picture. The Visionary is focused on connecting business goals to customer needs

Without this kind of thinking, we see projects and products evolve to become misaligned with company goals and consumer needs; this is when the Visionaries step in. Keeping developers, designers, and c-suite teams bought into the product vision starts and ends with the Visionary. Here at Nine Labs, these Product Strategists and Researchers keep stakeholders and team members focused on the customer, not the competition. They add immeasurable value with their ability to see the end goal and keep all stakeholders aligned. If this role is missing from your team, fill it quickly!

3. The Technician

In software, the Product Designer and Developer are the Technicians who bring the big ideas, business goals, and project plans together. Much like the Visionary, the Technicians must focus on customer needs, with the added responsibility of making the product intuitive, cohesive, and delightful. These individuals concentrate on the more tactical elements of your product, from the ease of use to the functionality, ensuring that problems are solvable with the systems built. 

When C-Suite objectives and ROI become top of mind, the Designer is the one who can tell the story that business stakeholders want to hear while keeping user goals top of mind. Every team needs someone who can balance the creative and business needs. 

Not sure you have the right team? We may be able to help you find and fill in the gaps, in the right way. 

The Big Picture for Team Leaders: 

If you're struggling to bring your digital product to life, it doesn't mean your idea isn't strong. You may just need to level up your Product Team.

Whether you're concerned with having the right people in the wrong seats, or you have empty seats altogether, Nine Labs can help you assess what may be broken. We have helped organizations of all sizes find that missing piece and Level Up their existing product team.

And if you are an Operator, Visionary, or Technician, connect with us through our website or LinkedIn. We’re always looking for great UX Talent!