Mission-driven teams are normally the best way to optimise for impact. This setup ensures that teams have a unified goal that they can continuously optimise for and refer back to.
When a team is mission-driven, they can work on any part of the product. A team may own a feature or technical service, but anyone can work on it.
For example, if a team wants to ship a change to the homepage to meet their objectives, they should be able to work with the team that owns the homepage to make that happen. They shouldn’t have to convince the homepage-owning team to undertake the work.
Expertise: The team will collectively become experts in their mission. They’ll focus primarily on understanding customer problems and the competitive landscape for those problems. This ensures maximum impact.
They have permission to work all over the product surface area, which means that they are less knowledgeable about a single part of the product works.
Incentive: Teams are motivated to solve the mission. They should have a metric to move, and maybe a counter-metric to make sure they act responsibly (e.g. decrease customer contacts without harming NPS). By being incentivised to solve problems, they’ll consider taking actions like adjusting messaging and removing features, rather than just building.
Communication: To make mission-based teams succeed, time and energy needs to be put into effective and clear communication. With multiple teams working on parts of the product, there needs to be extra effort in communication to ensure alignment and non-duplication of work. There also needs to be clear documentation of technology, so that anyone can easily work anywhere. At larger orgs this may be undertaken by product operations, but startups rarely have product ops before product-market-fit.