The Product Development Team

Strategy – The team with strategic decision-making authority. Strategy is about making specific choices to win in the marketplace. Deliberately choosing a different set of activities than competitors to deliver unique value to customers and consumers. An integrated set of choices that uniquely positions the firm in its industry so as to create sustainable advantage and superior value relative to the competition. (Best read: Playing To Win.)

Marketing – Primary function is to understand the market and customers. Manage the “4 P’s” of Marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement (distribution). Often tasked with identifying product opportunities. Responsible for identifying target consumer segments. Often oversee product launch. (Best textbook: Marketing Management; Marketing 101 content here:

Research and Development – In a product company, typically the team tasked with identifying new technology, performance, or value and applying these to products.

Engineering – The technical team; see also “the nerds.”

Manufacturing – Responsible for guiding product design so as to be manufacturing friendly (Design for Manufacturing), developing processes and capabilities, and managing the production system.

CAD – Computer-Aided Design Software. CAD team or CAD specialist is someone who uses the software.

Industrial Design – Discipline focusing on product aesthetics, ergonomics, and user experience; employ Design Thinking; sometimes catch-all for non-engineering product designers.

Product Manager – The CEO of the product. (Article: Good/Bad Product Manager.)

PMHQ has a good PM newsletter and course. Ken Norton also has a great website for all things PM.

Operations – Team responsible for logistical planning of production and product delivery (receiving, inspection, assembly, shipping).