Strong product managers spent up to half of their time talking directly with customers, buyers, and partners. And the other half of their time with their teams: framing problems, collaborating on solutions, translating features into benefits and vice versa. Making sure that we’re building the RIGHT things as validated directly by users and buyers so that we deliver customer-defined value as well as increased velocity. That’s different from the narrow scrum definition of product owner, which is mostly internal-facing.
This is an interesting discussion for agilists who worry most about improving morale, velocity (aka team throughput), quality, predictability, and collaboration. We rarely address actual customer value and measurable business outcomes in our agile conversations — instead offering up story points and internal vanity metrics. But building and delivering things that are not important is 100% waste — even if we deliver on time, with high quality and brilliant design.
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Product Management Helps Us Build the RIGHT Things; Agile Helps Us To Build Things RIGHT
Rich Mironov is a 35-year veteran of Silicon Valley product management, including six startups. He is a smokejumper product executive – parachuting into software companies to run product teams on an interim basis – when he's not coaching product leaders or helping design product organizations. He founded Product Camp, has been blogging about software product management since 2002 and his "Art of Product Management" was one of the first books on the subject.