Site icon Joanna Vahlsing, PMP

PMO Directors Series: Other Activities to Support the Transition to Product-Based Teams

Launching product delivery teams is a significant endeavor and the mindset doesn’t just shift overnight. Much like a weight loss journey, there is planning, monitoring, adapting and continuing need to cultivate the desired outcome.

Most teams will appreciate and look forward to the owning an area of the product and you can capitalize on that energy and enthusiasm. However, as humans, we’ll naturally fear what we don’t understand, and even those who don’t shy away from uncertainty will likely have some fear about the skills that will need to be developed to work in this manner.

Note: I’ve seen some folks be resistant to this change because it places a high amount of accountability on all team members as the team succeeds or fails together – gone are the days where Engineers can just blame “bad requirements,” Product can just blame the “customer,” QA can just blame the Engineers, and so on and so on. Alternatively, everyone simply blames the process and status quo. My advice for this is to have compassion and kindness and do whatever can be done to create psychologically safe environments to support folks through this change.

So, we’re at the point where we have the end in mind – a beautiful map of all the product domains/areas, with goals/outcomes and KPIs, and the team members who will be working on them. We just hold a meeting and roll it out. Right? Surprise – No!

Below are some musings on what I’ve learned helped support this transition:

As a PMO Director, you can help keep track of the execution plans against these (and many others), remove blockers, enlist help from stakeholders, communicate progress, reflect and adapt to change to the plan, etc.

Some companies choose to create a Transition/Product Development Enablement team made up of all the functional leaders and is run like a durable program team to implement, monitor progress, and continue to enable the product delivery teams in a servant leadership model. The PMO Director might not only be the facilitator of the group but also apply some program management tactics.

See any other areas that I’m missing? Please let me know.

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