In enterprise Agile models, product ownership and product management play crucial roles in delivering value to customers and driving the organisation’s success. When we overlay this with the chapter model, we can create a structure that ensures a strong dual governance approach that focuses on both people and product aspects.
In the context of the dual governance approach within the chapter model, it’s essential to differentiate between product ownership and product management. While both roles are crucial in driving the organisation’s success, they have distinct responsibilities and areas of focus.
Product Ownership:Product owners are responsible for maximising the value of the product by working closely with cross-functional teams, including development, design, and QA. Their primary focus is on the tactical level, ensuring that the product backlog is well-defined, prioritised, and continuously refined based on feedback and changing requirements.
Key responsibilities of a product owner include:
- Collaborating with stakeholders to gather and define requirements
- Prioritising features and user stories based on business value, technical dependencies, and risk
- Creating and maintaining the product backlog
- Ensuring that user stories are clear, concise, and actionable for the development team
- Accepting or rejecting completed work based on agreed-upon criteria
- Providing regular feedback to the development team
- Facilitating communication between the development team and stakeholders
Product management, on the other hand, focuses on the strategic level of product development. The product management team is responsible for setting the vision, strategy, and roadmap for the products, ensuring that they align with the organisation’s overall goals and objectives.
Key responsibilities of a product manager include:
- Defining the product vision and strategy
- Conducting market research and competitive analysis
- Identifying and understanding customer needs and pain points
- Creating and maintaining the product roadmap
- Communicating the product vision and strategy to stakeholders, including the development team
- Defining product success metrics and monitoring product performance
- Coordinating product launches and go-to-market strategies
In the context of the chapter model and dual governance approach, the product ownership group collaborates closely with the product management team. While the product management team focuses on strategic decisions and long-term planning, the product owners concentrate on the day-to-day tactical decisions necessary to deliver value incrementally. This clear differentiation of responsibilities ensures that both the strategic and tactical aspects of product development are effectively managed, leading to successful products that align with the organisation’s goals. The dual governance approach can be broken down into two main components:
In the chapter model, a group of professionals with similar skills and roles forms a chapter. For the product ownership group, this would include all the product owners within the organisation. This group is responsible for sharing knowledge, learning from each other, and improving their skills as product owners. The chapter lead, who is an experienced product owner, is responsible for mentoring and coaching the other product owners, as well as setting the standards and best practices for the group.
The people-focused governance emphasises the development of the product owners themselves, ensuring they are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to perform their roles effectively. This aspect of governance fosters a strong community of practice, encourages collaboration, and promotes continuous improvement among the product owners.
The product-focused aspect of the governance deals with the strategic and tactical aspects of product management. The product owners work closely with the product management team, which is responsible for setting the vision, strategy, and roadmap for the products. Product owners are responsible for maximising the value of the product by prioritising features, refining requirements, and collaborating with cross-functional teams.
In this dual governance model, the product ownership group ensures that the product owner’s priorities are aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals and that the product backlog is well-defined, prioritised, and continuously refined. This product-focused governance aims to deliver high-quality products that meet customer needs and drive the organisation’s success.
By implementing a dual governance approach for the product ownership group, the organisation can ensure that both the people and product aspects are addressed effectively. This enables a strong, collaborative product owner community that continuously improves its skills while delivering valuable products that align with the organisation’s strategy and goals.