Capability 3 – Work to a process & a plan
Effective teams use process to aid transparent, coherent and timely decision making. It’s fair to say that no matter how creative and disruptive the organization, Product Management does not function without a simple process that defines how we decide which ideas to pursue, how we take them to market and how we manage them through their lifecycle.
Without process we turn innovation and delivery into a game of chance – whoever shouts loudest gets resource to build a product that may or may not deliver success as an individual product or part of the portfolio.
In many organizations, Product Management leadership faces an uphill challenge – a management team who do not actively support process and no actual process in place.
Leadership on this particular trait is startlingly simple – Lead by example. The most common reason for process not being followed is that a Product Manager knows their boss will be OK with it – they may well have witnessed their boss breaking those very same rules.
Although process sometimes feels like a burden, appreciate the structure and transparency it gives the wider organization. If you feel the process is slowing your team down, don’t voice that concern with them, share it with process owners and attempt to fix process issues rather than bypass. Make your team aware that you understand no-one really likes process, but we value it because of the structure and transparency it gives the overall business.
Most importantly, do not accept process dissent from the team. They need to understand that you will not be open to breaking the rules for short term gain.