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A product-first mindset is crucial as it ensures a relentless focus on solving user problems and delivering value. Teams align efforts with customer needs by prioritizing the product’s core purpose and user experience. This mindset encourages thoughtful decision-making at every stage, from design to development, fostering collaboration and reducing rework. It enhances adapting to changing market dynamics, promoting innovation and sustainable growth.

Mr. Sundara Rajan, CTO of Anzyz, and Ms. Rohini Chaudhari, Associate Director of Engineering at GS Lab | GAVS were the panelists for the next episode of the webinar series by GS Lab | GAVS “Everything Products Episode 6: Cultivating a Product-First Mindset in Software Engineering Teams”. The webinar was moderated by Mr. Mandar Gadre, Technology Evangelist at GS Lab | GAVS.

What is a Product Mindset?

A product mindset or product thinking emphasizes the differences between products and projects. With products, there is a deeper level of involvement and understanding required from the team, as products have a longer lifespan and involve a variety of customers. Unlike projects with defined start and end periods, products demand continuous engagement and a more profound connection with the customer base.

Functioning of a Product Team

Broadly, the company must focus on instilling a strong sense of being in a product environment within the team. The team, including QA, UX, and developers, must understand the product’s goals and contribute to its development. It is important to set the right expectations from the beginning that everyone is equally responsible for the entire product, and not just for their individual tasks.

Clarity in communication, especially from leaders, will help engineers envision the complete product picture before diving into their individual tasks. The approach urges teams to think beyond their roles and contribute to the overall product development.

The sales teams also play a crucial role in understanding market needs and negotiating priorities. Decentralizing decision-making allows the development team to give their inputs on what can be realistically achieved.

When it comes to technology, it is important to take an incremental approach. This includes scale-up and startup scenarios, breaking tasks into smaller, manageable pieces before building them up. Financial constraints and operational considerations are also factors when deciding the technology.

Role of a CTO in Product Development

A product company should embrace the idea that everyone is a technologist to some extent. The dynamic role of a CTO sits at the intersection of business and technology, contributing to both spheres and ensuring effective communication and collaboration across teams. The goal is to contribute meaningfully to both aspects of product development. CTOs have insights gained from varied experience, highlighting the importance of active involvement in the product and business aspects. CTOs must also spend time with customers, conduct demos, and effectively communicate technology challenges to the team and to sales.

Service Perspective

Developers and the QA team are the first product users during development. Developers, UX designers, and the QA team must get involved in every stage of a product’s life cycle, whether new development or enhancements to an existing product. However, there is a challenge among developers as they must now transition from a siloed mindset to embracing a more collaborative, holistic approach to product development. The common perception is that coding is the primary measure of productivity. Contributors should adopt a holistic mindset, consider the entire product ecosystem and user experience, and actively engage with cross-functional teams to enhance their understanding and contribute meaningfully to the product’s success.

Importance of UX in Decision Making

To establish a strong connection between the design and engineering teams, UX (User Experience) or CX (Customer Experience) teams must get the recognition they deserve within the organization. UX should not be viewed merely as a team responsible for UI or visual elements but should be acknowledged for their representation of customers, user scenarios, and flows. Incorporating UX into critical decision-making assemblies allows them to play a pivotal role. By involving UX in decision-making processes and adopting practices like collaborative sketching, organizations can foster a more integrated approach to product development, where design and engineering work hand in hand.

The Kent Beck Model

The challenges and considerations in product development emphasize instilling a product mindset in individual contributors, particularly developers. This is where Kent Beck’s 3x model comes into play.

Kent Beck’s 3X model is a product development framework that comprises three key phases: Explore, Expand, and Extract. In the Explore phase, teams engage in experimentation, conducting small-scale tests and learning from failures. This phase allows for the discovery of viable ideas. The Expand phase involves scaling and developing successful concepts identified in the Explore phase. It focuses on meeting growing demands and expanding market presence. The Extract phase addresses technical debt, emphasizing optimization and refining existing systems. This final phase ensures the product remains adaptable, efficient, and aligned with changing requirements.

The 3X model underscores the importance of adaptability, continuous learning, and recognizing that optimal practices may shift throughout the product development lifecycle. It provides a flexible framework for navigating the complexities of evolving products in dynamic markets.

The industry is dynamic, and digital products offer flexibility to adapt to changes. It’s essential not to be too rigid and remain open to different solutions. Even if they seem nonproductive, collaborative discussions have long-term benefits in creating conscious and connected development.

While this blog is a gist of the webinar, you can watch the entire discussion here. You can also find all our webinar recordings at and

At GS Lab | GAVS, we help customers drive innovation at record speed by leveraging R&D driven development with deep understanding of core and emerging technologies. We have developed 350+ technology products and solutions, many of which are first of their kind. Our product engineering teams take end-to-end ownership and add measurable value to our customers. To find out how we can help you with our product engineering expertise, please visit