What are Empowered Product Teams?
Empowered product teams are those that allow their product managers to be at the front and center of leading all operations for the whole team. They differ from traditional teams, where product teams execute the plans the upper management sends over for them.
In normal product teams, the product managers are expected to follow the roadmap that has been devised for them and not add their own input to the plan. In those teams, the role of product management is purely functional.
On the other hand, modern, empowered product teams allow product managers to do much more than just manage outcomes. These teams allow product teams to take ownership of the firm and the strategy needed to make the product a success.
How to define an Empowered Product Team?
Differentiating an empowered product team from a typical team is easy. Following is how you can tell if you’re dealing with an empowered products team.
The team reeks of empowerment at every level
An empowered product team is a team that is given the ability and space to solve the problems that are presented to them. Empowered teams don’t need micromanagement; instead, they need tools and support to solve problems on their own.
The teams operate in a cross-functional manner
For most people, the definition of cross-functional teams involves a team that has sufficient back-end and front-end support. However, there’s more to empowered product teams than this. Empowered teams are staffed with competent people that cover the entire range of skills needed to make a product happen.
The teams believe in accountability
Empowered product teams don’t look for other people to blame when things go south. They take responsibility for their actions and are accountable for the tasks that have been assigned to them. If they come up with a solution, they take responsibility for both its success and failure.
The teams are incredibly competent
Empowered teams rely on extreme efficiency and competency. They possess the necessary skills that complement both the role they have been hired for and the problem they are working on, so they can provide the best value to their customers.
They take ownership of the product they are creating
Empowered product teams own the product they are creating. This is because they have a clear vision of what they want to achieve. This is made possible when these teams receive ample support and coaching from senior management as well as other important stakeholders in the product creation process.
Empowered teams are built on the principle of trust
Empowered product teams are those who have trust in the abilities of their workmates. These teams have each other’s backs and are there to lift each other up when someone makes a mistake. These teams operate on the principles of trust and reliance on each other.
They provide each other with functional and mental support
These kinds of teams provide each other with the functional and mental support they need to function optimally. Functional support ensures that the teams are prepared for the outcome they need to deliver. On the other hand, mental support means they have the necessary help from their team to deliver the said outcome.
What is the purpose of an Empowered Product Team?
Empowered product teams exist for the following reasons:
- Provide a heightened level of innovation on behalf of the customer so that the customer has a creative solution to their problem.
- Create a product that the customer loves due to the solutions it presents and the ease it brings into their lives.
- Meeting the needs of the business by creating solutions that stay true to the mission and vision of the company.
The secret behind Empowered Product Teams
One of the key motivations behind making empowered product teams work is being a good leader. Without a good leader, even the best teams can lose focus and end up far from where they are supposed to be. This is why it is crucial to carefully vet the candidate that you are assigning to lead the product team.
The product is the core of your business. It is upon which all the other business functions rely, and the core is where everyone else has to work. To make sure that your product team is thriving and performing to the best of its ability, you need a leader who will empower them and ensure that their performance is always up to par.
In today’s world, teams with high micromanagement are bound to fail. Teams like being led, not constantly told what they should and shouldn’t do. Instead of a command control leadership style, there needs to be a lead-by-example leadership style.
The importance of creating Empowered Product Teams
If you want your product to excel and your organization to scale to new heights, then it’s extremely important for you to possess an empowered product team. However, equally important is equipping the team with all the tools they need to thrive and work together seamlessly.
One of the most effective strategies is using tools that allow your coworkers to collaborate effectively. So if you want a product team that gels together effortlessly, use tools like Userstory Map that lets you create agile user story maps, roadmaps, and personal journeys for JIRA.