As a start-up company, we at go3consulting are constantly challenging our own beliefs and approaches. Based on our own past experiences we are very familiar with the challenges of moving targets, task overload and input (not only by stakeholders and customers), as well as the continuous pressure in product management organisations. Therefore we looked deeper into the conditions and setups that lead to significant performance improvements in similar environments.
A lot of my consulting work over the last view years has been within agile product organizations. X-functional teams, committed to delivering the products they signed up for, were clearly the key to success there. While the companies put great effort into leveraging these teams, the teams’ own drive for improvement and excellence was what made it work.
Everyone else outside the (mainly Scrum-)teams, however, performed more or less a one-man-show, chasing success on their own. Most of the Product Management organisations were just like this. Product Managers as mixture between product expert and project manager, toiling away documenting requirements, defining timelines, and reworking budgets. Most oft hem overworked, taking lonely decisions, having far too much to do while trying to keep stakeholders in balance.
We at go3consulting do not believe in this lone ranger type of Product Manager. We are fully convinced that teams have a higher success rate than the lonely genius
Therefore we suggest to our clients to organize Product Management as x-functional teams where all members contribute all of their expertise, just like scrum teams.
With the product life cycle spanning all the way from innovation to phase-out the experts on these teams need to cover all 6 forces driving PM: business/finance, user needs/customer experience, go-to-market, market/competition, x-functional readiness and product/technology.
Key to success is team spirit and -culture. The best performing teams are those that act like a group of peers.
Therefore we have – for the time being – dubbed the ideal teams that we introduce to our clients PRODUCT PEER GROUPs (PPG). Members of the team are required to participate, to contribute, to co-create, – and – ultimately – to co-innovate.
In order to ensure the effectiveness of the group we recommend following these principles:
1.) All members are peers with regard to their contribution
2.) Product Managers act as lateral leaders more than experts
3.) Every meeting is a result-focused workshop
4.) 360°Transparency is expected within the group with regard to all issues concerning the product even remotely
5.) Delivery is the prime objective
Bottom line: the Product Peer Group replaces comprehensive planning and steering activities with joint and focused action.