Product Manager: Responsibilities

The Product Manager is the “face” of Business value to the development value stream as a whole. Each team will have its own Product Owner for their initial questions about customers and stakeholders, but the Product Owners will go to the Product Manager for anything that requires beyond their level of customer/stakeholder understanding.

The Product Manager is also the “face” of the value stream (or program, in program-centered organizations) to the senior Business leadership such as Business Sponsors and Business Owners. The Product Manager passes them information from the implementation effort that has potentially strategic implications about achieving the Business goals of a capability. This includes implementation discoveries such as fundamental difficulties with technology or tooling, performance “walls,” and so forth. This gives the Business strategists the opportunity to explore the possibility of modifying a capability and the strategic concept behind it, in such a way that the implementation difficulties are avoided and yet the organization still achieves its goals as thoroughly as possible.

In performing this role, the Product Manager is responsible for:

  • Keeping the enterprise Business-strategy area connected with its development area
  • Setting the vision for the product releases
  • Specifying the Business value to be developed
  • Managing the Value Stream (e.g., Program) Backlog
  • Assessing product acceptability
  • Managing the release.
  • Helping the flow of Business value

To see this role in the context of the work of Lean-Agile, see the example RACI Chart.