Go Go Product Rangers: Teams with Attitude
Earlier this year on a rainy Sunday afternoon I found the big budget Power Rangers movie on Netflix. As we move from 80s nostalgia to 90s revisionism all the IP from Saturday morning will be reviewed, given gritty reboots and reimaginations which will give you the feels and shit all over your childhood at the same time. Sorry 80s kids, it's time for the 90s kids to own the popular culture for a little while.
So whilst I put the updated Power Rangers film on in the background and found it wasn't that bad it made me think about what the Power Rangers actually are, what they do and how they interact. Yes, the Power Rangers are the perfect team and the team which we should use as a basis for how we create our own.
The initial Power Rangers best illustrate this concept and also it happens to be the series heavily marketed towards my generation giving me almost encyclopaedic knowledge of them.
It's Morphin' Time!
Jason, bold and powerful you shall command the Tyrannosaurus Dinosaur.
Bold and powerful you say? A leader that can unite a team, fair and the first among equals? Yep, Jason the Red Ranger is your Product Owner.
Zachary, you are clever and brave. You shall command the Mastodon Dinosaur.
Clever, bold and fearless, but with the brute force of the Mastodon, of course this is the Scrum Master/Delivery Manager role. Clearing the way for the team to do what they need to do.
Kimberly, graceful and smart the Pterodactyl Dinosaur shall be yours.
Graceful and smart, tactful and intuitive. Sounds like a fantastic business analyst right there, balancing the user needs and uniting the problem to the rest of the team.
Billy, patient and wise you shall command the powerful Triceratops Dinosaur.
Patient and wise, informed and considered. Billy the Blue Ranger is your UX team, slowly agonising over details looking for solutions. Yay nerds!
Trini, fearless and agile the Sabre-toothed Tiger Dinosaur will be under your command.
Fearless and agile, moving fast and breaking things, cutting their teeth on something new… hello development team!
Oh, and of course how could I forget what happens when the Rangers unite, calling on their mighty Zords, transforming into a force far greater than the sum of its parts. The Mighty Megazord. The perfect metaphor showing how 5 prehistoric based robots can unite into a massive ninja that vanquishes all enemies with relative ease.
Yes yes, I've identified 5 core components of a scrum team and then applied it to a well known team of five, but there is more to it than that.
The Power Rangers work because they're a team driven towards a single goal, striving to deliver (us from evil), but they're a diverse team with different approaches. Each individual brings a new skill to the team, something we as product teams can strive to emulate.
This links to something which is somewhat of a hot topic at the moment within tech spheres and digital delivery companies: culture. Meritocracy should be the desired goal for many teams however this should not be the be all and end all. The diversity of background and mindset is celebrated within the Power Rangers with not one being able to vanquish evil (deliver a product) alone. Product teams should take this message to heart, a team full of 'Billys’ and 'Trinis’ is not as effective as a whole diverse team consisting of different members.
We need to embrace different ways of thinking, work with others that have different approaches but ultimately the same aim. Doing this can help us in avoiding 'mirrortocracies’ where similar people are hired for comfort. By challenging ourselves and working with diverse, balanced, multidisciplinary teams we can take on the world.
Go Go Product Rangers!