What would be a healthy ratio for Engg:Design:PM?

Any thoughts on what should be a healthy ratio for Engg:Design:PM for a consumer grade SaaS product?


I think a lot of it depends on specifics, but I don’t think you’d ever want less than 5 engineers:1 prod:1 design and don’t think you’d ever want more than 10 eng:1 prod: 1 design. Once you get to 10 engineers, my feeling is you should be looking at a pod structure, but depends on teams and what they’re working on.


I agree. I might go as low as 4:1:1 but anything lower that that and you’re not really doing interesting work at a good cadence. Ironically (?) anything over 10 (or even 8-9) and you’re likely not releasing interesting work at a good cadence.
Really the only times I’ve seen larger teams work is when you are trying to keep functionality in sync across multiple platforms (web, iOS, Android) but recently lots of smart engineering teams have been switching to non-native development which probably makes more sense much of the time.


I agree with the upper limit and I have a different take on the lower limit… I think it depends on the nature of the challenge/outcome the team is responsible for.
For the lower limit, I’ve experienced durable pods of 2-3 engineers be quite effective. What those teams had in common was the value came more from really figuring out the problem and lots of discovery/iteration than heavy engineering lifting.
The impactful work ended up being simple from a code point of view, and the hard part was figuring out what to build. So it worked well to have fewer engineers that were more involved in the discovery/prototyping/iteration.
Wondering if anyone else has had success with super small teams?

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Thanks @Naominwosu That’s interesting. Seems like there is a common thread between different ideal team make ups depending on the phase (discovery x execution).

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