When a new team forms in a workplace, it usually starts with a team lead, with all the members working directly under the team lead.
[L] / | \ [M] [M] [M] L = Team Lead M = Team Member
The lead maintains the backlog of tasks to be carried out by the members. At the same time, the team lead also handles the project and product management. A new team will usually have more room for innovation. The team members will work with the team lead to start a new project, with the team lead overseeing the progress and milestones for the projects.
The methodology of work varies here. A full-fledged agile ceremony seems to be overkill at this stage. Kanban could work well.
Eventually, the number of projects will grow. The team leader also has higher-up reporting as part of their responsibility. At this point, a different role should take over project management, overseeing the progress and milestone achievements.
[L] --- [PJM] / | \ [M] [M] [M] L = Team Lead M = Team Member PJM = Project Manager
The team members will still be working with the team lead to clarify the requirements and details of project tasks. A project manager works alongside the lead, understanding the project requirements and managing the timeline of different projects. In addition to that, a project manager would proactively resolve blockers to ensure the project’s on-time completion.
At the end of an agile sprint or a quarter, the project manager sums up the progress of all ongoing projects and plans out the timeline for the overflowing tasks.
Slowly, the team starts to receive external requirements. Some of these requirements will spring into a project on its own. At this junction, it takes another specialised role to correlate the different projects together and envision the future growth of these projects.
[L] / \ / \ [PJM]--o--[PDM] | / | \ [M] [M] [M] L = Team Lead M = Team Member PJM = Project Manager PDM = Product Manager o = Backlog
The team lead now offloads the team’s backlog to a product manager. The product manager co-owns the backlog with the project manager. All external requests going to the team will propagate into this co-owned backlog.
The previously started internal projects will also have their requirements centrally managed in the backlog, allowing the members to focus on the execution of the project.
Meanwhile, the product manager handles the envisioning and refinement of each project, making sure the project brings the most value to the stakeholders on its completion. For internal projects, the product manager will work with the team members, aligning their expectations on the project’s goal.
At the end of a sprint or quarter, the project manager, as usual, wraps up the progress and shares it with the lead and the product manager, all the while ensuring team members have sufficient resources to complete their tasks.