The product team starter kit
Your guide to building a process your team will actually use.
C
Coda
Last updated: Tuesday, July 14th

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Every product team strives for high performance. And the right tools can help them leverage their strengths and make their goals easier to achieve. But, as you know,
choosing that tool is easier said than done.

Your designer likes a newly-launched tool, while your engineer prefers one they’ve been using for years. Or you start a project with a Google doc, which grows to two Google docs, plus a spreadsheet and a Trello board, by the end of the quarter. Out-of-the-box software is designed for one-size-fits-most—and there’s a good chance it won’t be the right fit for your team. But the perfect tool for your team
does
exist—when you make it yourself. Let your team shape the tool, not the other way around.

We’ve always believed that process is a product in and of itself. And it’s no surprise that the people who build products for a living make incredibly insightful docs, too. Like this look at
from their VP of Product, Yuhki Yamashita. And Dropbox VP of Product Adam Nash’s
guide. And Superhuman founder and CEO Rahul Vohra’s interactive framework for finding
.

In this starter kit, we highlight common patterns for creating a process your product team will actually use—from discussion topic voting to feature roadmapping to bug squashing.

Get the most out of your meetings.

With so much time dedicated to stand-ups, brainstorms, and discussions, every moment demands productivity, concise communication, and clear expectations. What if you worked smarter, not harder?

Every meeting should work to improve team morale and alignment. So why not try designing teamwork like you design your product: with your users in mind. To quote Yuhki, from his doc
:

Just as important as building the doc is having the convention and culture where you look at it regularly.

Interpersonal cues, like body language, can be easy to miss, especially in a digital space. Instead of trying to read the minds of your meeting attendees, simply ask them how they’re feeling—about their day, this specific meeting, or anything else. Add this template to your doc by typing
/team sentiment tracker
.

Go ahead, tell us how you feel. 👇

How are you feeling?
Sentiment
Reflection
Submitted by
1
Care to explain?
There are no rows in this table

Not all meeting topics are created equal, especially when deadlines are approaching and everyone only has this exact half hour to meet. Drive consensus and bring everyone along for the ride with this simple templateーjust hit
/topic voting
and start adding topics.

Add topics and upvote. 👇

Add Topic
Topic to discuss
Vote
1
Add a topic here...
👍
0
There are no rows in this table

Brainstorms can be incredibly inspiring and a great way to connect with your team. Or they can go absolutely nowhere at all. Try setting an agenda and clarifying expectations with this
.

👉 Explore other useful drag-and-drop templates:

Create an intentional product strategy.

Product decisions carry weight, and all eyes are on you team during the decision-making process. What features are you building next? How are you going to build this? According to Adam Nash in his
doc:

Debates tend to get so caught up in the
should
, that
when
and
how
are neglected.

The strategy you choose when answering these questions will impact your team and your product. (No pressure.) You know what your team can reasonably accomplish, so simplify and add visibility to your strategic process where it makes sense.

You have a million and one things on your feature backlog, ranging from community requests to board asks. But what do you work on next? Give all opinions airtime, get aligned, and become one with your priorities with this
.

Decisions are made in meetings, over Slack, and, when in the office, in hallways. Give proper visibility to all decisions made with a decision log that sends updates to both Slack and email with the push of a button. Customize this template after adding it to your doc with
/decision log
.

Question?
Decision
Send to Slack
Slack Channel
Send via Email
Email
1
What color should we make the logo?
Options were red, green or blue
Decided on green as it was closest to the rest of our branding
Send to Slack
my-team
Send to Email
2
When should we launch?
We reviewed all the options (see the write up for more detail)—launching next Thursday.
Send to Slack
my-team
Send to Email
There are no rows in this table


Celebrating your team’s wins and discussing what could be better next time empowers your team to improve with every project. Use this
to include Jira issues in your next retrospective to bring your goals and accomplishments closer together.

👉 Explore other useful drag-and-drop templates:

See every project to its end.

When building a feature, you consolidate feedback, sequence work while aligning the team, design and spec, and, finally, manage the project to completion. Rushabh Doshi, former Director of Engineering and Product Management at Facebook, provides his perspective of process in his
:

A systematic approach to product quality can help produce a product that is a joy to use—a product that feels polished and fast, one that customers keep returning to over and over again.

To build that systematic approach, you’re going to need a way to track tasks while providing meaningful visibility to your stakeholders, without redundant data entry.

Successful PRDs are specific enough to get useful feedback and concise enough that people actually read them—a difficult balance to strike. With a precise set of prompts and launch checklists,
to be customized and duplicated for each of your team’s projects.

Whichever strategy you choose, you need to be SMART. Break down your OKRs into Jira issues, and then measure your work with an automatically-updating progress bar, with this tracker template. Add this table to your own doc by typing
/Jira issues with OKRs
and connecting the Jira Pack.

Goal Name
Jira Issues
Jira Progress
1
Roll out pricing beta to 20 users
Add one-click checkout option to shopping cart
Conduct 30 customer interviews
2
Improve onboarding retention by 10%
Migrate from Azure to Snowflake
3
5,000 mobile app store downloads
Add “fun fact of the day” to login
Add 1Password support
SEO optimization
Shake iPhone app to share
There are no rows in this table


Cross-functional alignment isn’t the easiest thing to come by, but it sure will make the journey to launching your features smoother. Give your stakeholders a clear picture of where you’re going and where you’ve been with this intuitive dashboard. Add it to your doc by typing
/product roadmap
.

Edit the roadmap—the timeline will update automatically. 👇

New Login
Re-design
Lots o' bugs
Q2 2019
Q3 2019
Q4 2019
Q1 2020
New Login
Re-design
Lots o' bugs


Feature
Kickoff Date
Launch Date
Duration
Effort
1
New Login
4/15/2019
7/24/2019
100 days
🐜 Small
2
Re-design
7/1/2019
12/30/2019
182 days
⛰ Large
3
Lots o' bugs
9/9/2019
12/2/2019
84 days
🌴 Medium
There are no rows in this table


Even Coda has its share of bugs.
to report, track, and close them.

👉 Explore other useful drag-and-drop templates:


Given the state of work, we’re all challenged to create the perfect environment for our teams. And while you may not be able to create a perfect office, you can create a perfect doc—a space as collaborative, creative, and unique as your team.

💡 Have a drag-and-drop template idea? Email
to let us know!
Want to print your doc?
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Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (
CtrlP
) instead.