The following document outlines a revised pod structure for all work at Air. The goal is for this doc to be finalized and implemented in advance of Q4 2020.


History of the pods

In late 2019 we decide to re-organize the product team to work in cross-functional "pods".

The pod rollout was a response to a few issues we had been struggling with around predicting and hitting deadlines, clarifying ownership over each feature, and preventing whiplash as team members bounced between projects. It's largely addressed those issues, but not without introducing new challenges along the way.

Trouble in paradise

Over the past several months we've identified a few pain-points in the way we work as a team. While some of these are specific to the product team's pod structure, others are company wide.

The new pods

Pod commandments

In order to address the pain points outlined above, we're going to redefine the pods with a few key tenants in mind.

  1. Pods are company-wide

    Instead of thinking of our pods as being an organizational tool of the product team, we should think of them as company-wide. Most day-to-day work, be it technical or not, should happen within a pod.

  2. Each pod should have a single, measurable KPI

    At the beginning of the quarter, the pod will determine what goal it wants to set for it's KPI and ensure it has the infrastructure in place to track that goal. Each pod will be responsible for reporting on its KPI weekly to promote transparency and accountability across the org.

  3. All pods should track their work in a centralized database

    A centralized database will help the entire company understand what each other is working on and ensure no one is stretched too thin.

  4. Each pod should maintain its own roadmap, backlog, and bugs

    Each pod will maintain a prioritized backlog with feature and project ideas to work on, but they'll be encouraged to weigh their progress towards improving their KPI against the deadlines they may have set for specific features.

  5. Pods can, and should, work together

    There will always be overlap between the efforts of each pod. They should keep open lines of communication and even work collaboratively when their missions would be better addressed working together than separately.