Projects end, but products and services live on. Product owners shift focus from incremental changes to product maturity. Teams need to view the product or service as a long-term entity that will be managed, enhanced, and adapted to meet the organization's changing needs. Consider starting with Make the Case for Product Delivery.
- Projects can still be the source for funding. The project release milestones or phases are tied to the product releases. Project is simply the team funding method for the product lifecycle. In a hybrid model, product owners
now use their roadmaps and backlogs to generate and manage release scope. This aligns to your continuous delivery
of product value and longer-term alignment to enterprise goals.
- Teams still need to focus on key milestones and releases, especially when other teams are impacted. Project managers continue to manage milestones and PMO governance gates but no longer manage tasks and work
assignments (Agile uses self-managing teams). If the team does not use PMs, then the product owner or scrum master takes over these responsibilities.
- As you improve product management and delivery maturity, product releases can follow your CI/CD delivery
pipeline and coordinate timed releases when end users are impacted or require training/communication.
Align your transition to product delivery with your Agile transformation
While product management ensures we deliver the highest ROI improvements aligned with enterprise goals, product delivery is essential to implementing those changes. Visit our Agile / DevOps Resource Center to find ways to improve your delivery capabilities.
To achieve outcomes that are aligned with the needs of your organization, you need a clear product vision and a tactical plan to bring that vision to life. Product owners need to build a roadmap and backlog strategy aligned with their product vision and fulfill the product goals. Product owners should start with Deliver on Your Digital Product Vision to build their product strategy playbook.
- Product organizations are under pressure to align the value they provide to the organization’s goals and overall company vision.
- You need to clearly convey your direction, strategy, and tactics to gain alignment, support, and funding from your organization.
- Products require continuous additions and enhancements to sustain their value. This requires detailed, yet simple communication with a variety of stakeholders.
Your organizational goals and strategy are achieved
through capabilities that deliver value. Your product
hierarchy is the mechanism to translate enterprise
goals, priorities, and constraints down to the product
level where changes can be made.
Align and group product owners to your operational
product structure to translate enterprise strategy down
to product changes that deliver value-enabling capabilities.
- To align product changes with enterprise goals and priorities, you need to
organize your products into operational groups based on the capabilities or
business functions the product and family support.
- Product managers translate these goals, priorities, and constraints into
their product families, so they are actionable at the next level, whether that
level is another product family or products implementing enhancements to
meet these goals.
- The product family manager ensures the product changes enhance
the capabilities that allow you to realize your product family, division, and
- Enabling capabilities realize value and help reach your goals, which then
drives your next set of enterprise goals and strategy.
Mature and Scale Product Ownership
Strengthen the product owner role in your organization by focusing on core capabilities and proper alignment. Product ownership is not one-size-fits-all or static. It must be tuned and structured to meet the delivery needs of your organization and the customers it serves. Create a culture of product management trust and empowerment with product owners aligned to your operational product needs.
Unfortunately, most product owners operate with incomplete knowledge of the skills and capabilities needed to excel in the role. Common gaps include focusing only on product backlogs, acting as a proxy for product decisions, and ignoring the need for key performance indicators (KPIs) and analytics in both planning and value realization.
Build a Better Product Owner and the Info-Tech Product Owner Capability Model help product and service owners understand the needed skills for their role, assess their current maturity, and build a personal development plan.
- Understand the types of product owners
and how to scale product ownership to align to your operational structure and
- Leverage the product owner capability map
to better define the role and provide a development path for product owners.
- Define the impact of cultural factors to
the success of product owners and develop strategies to improve your
transformation to product ownership and dedicated product owners.
Product Management feeds your product delivery pipeline with the Right Changes, for the Right Users, at the Right Time. To improve quality and time to value, look for opportunities to improve your delivery capabilities and throughput.
Product delivery can exist within any org structure or delivery model. However, when making the shift toward product management, consider optimizing your org design and product team structure to match your capacity and throughput needs
Start with Phase 4 “Bridge the Gap Between Product Families and Delivery” in Deliver Digital Products at Scale. When you find an opportunity to improve your organizational alignment to improve product management and delivery, use Redesign Your IT Organizational Structure to make that transformation easier.
Shifting to adaptive governance is critical to improving business agility and making sure teammates understand their accountability. Begin your governance transformation with Make Your IT Governance Adaptable.