An empowered development team owns its work, is authorised to make the right decisions, and is able to work independently. Empowered teams are happier, create better products, and allow you, the person in charge of the product, to spend more time on product discovery and strategy. This article shares five tips to help you empower your development teams.
As product people—product managers and product owners—we usually don’t hold any transactional power. Unlike a line manager, we cannot reward people by offering a pay rise or bonus, for instance. We cannot tell people what to do either, as stakeholders and development teams don’t report to us. This puts us in a challenging position: We must lead others to achieve product success but we cannot leverage traditional management instruments. Luckily, there are other power sources you can tap into to increase your authority, as I explain in this article.
Applying the product owner role can be challenging, as no two products are the same. While products and projects vary, I have found two common ways to employ the role: Asking the customer or a customer proxy such as a product manager to take on the product owner role. This post discusses when which option is more appropriate.