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  • Holly Chasan-Young

Proper Care for Product Teams

Product Management has been around for decades - but in the last few years, its popularity has soared in many large organizations - so that it can seem like suddenly, everyone's a product owner; and every team has morphed into a product team.


Given this trend, if your company is going through 'digital transformation,' or you're newly in charge of product teams, it’s important to understand how to care for them - to avoid the traps of traditional leadership and allow them to grow robust.

Let's take a look.


Tips for nourishing a product team:

  • Provide the team with purpose, audacious goals and outcomes-based metrics

  • Help it balance execution with strategy

  • Ensure it spends time with customers daily or weekly

  • Embrace its early failures and resulting pivots

  • Give it sunlight (funding, team members)

  • Ensure a highly diverse team

 Surefire ways to kill off a product team:

  • Leave it adrift, with no clear vision

  • Ask it to avoid (or hide) failure

  • Isolate it from customers

  • Tell it what to do, how to do it, and apply artificial timelines

  • Insist on (or accept) vanity metrics

  • Ask it to implement existing products from external vendors, or launch "copycat" products 

In the rush to implement Product Management, organizations can become guilty of PTNO - (Product Teams in Name Only). That might be sufficient for some execution projects.


But if your growth strategy requires product teams who can innovate, it will be essential to create the right habitat.


That means an inspiring vision of the future; ambitious metrics, a supportive culture; plenty of resources; and the grace to experiment, fail, and iterate. With all that and a bit of luck, your product teams will thrive and prosper.


Want to learn more? Join us for Leading Phenomenal Product Teams at The Broad on February 8, 2019.


Holly Chasan-Young is Chief Troublemaker for Wonderbolt Labs where she works with teams to create better services and products.

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