How do you link the Business Stakeholder with teams? This is a common problem for Lean-Agile at any level of scale. SAFe does it by defining strategies that map to themes that land on the release train. We suggest another approach, adding a role to facilitate the linkages. We call this role the Product Manager or (Business) Product Owner. This role becomes increasingly important to address the complexities at mid-scale and large-scale.This article summarizes the points made during a webinar that included a case study about the Product Manager. Jump to the end to watch the session.
Here are some cases that motivate this recommendation.
The Product Manager addresses this tough case by serving as liaison to stakeholders and working with Product Owners to decompose and prioritize.
This scheme works very nicely in mid-scale organizations because planning can be very dynamic without the need for a full-on Program Planning Event.
Watch Al Shalloway reflect on this as he considers a case we encountered.
Always keep the goal in mind
The Product Manager is the point of contact for stakeholders to keep them apprised of progress. This becomes increasingly important as the organization gets to the mid-scale and larger because it can be very hard to find Product Owners who are comfortable talking to VPs and executives, especially when it comes to representing the product in Business-oriented, strategic terms.
Always keep the goal in mind: Bridging the gap between stakeholder, IT, and team! Does it bring them closer or does it separate them? Do everything you can to bring them together in such a way that you realize Business agility more quickly.