Today, I came across an interesting article by Marty Cagan on the difference between empowered product teams and feature teams.

Here’s the link to the article if you are interested in reading it.

I have been working on EHANDBOOK for the past 12 years, and from the criteria that Marty lists for what makes a truly empowered product team, I am glad that our team was and is truly empowered.

So why can I state this?

  • Our team was and is working directly with end users, i.e. in my role as product manager and product owner, I was regularly in touch with users at various customers and not shielded from them (e.g., through sales or support).
  • We are working on a solution that is sold to customers and not only on some component that is integrated into other products or solutions.
  • As product manager, I am responsible for the business case. That is, there is a profit and loss responsibility which makes the “ownership” of the product.
  • The UX work is in the responsibility of our team as we work on the solution. Yes, there is a lack of an explicit designer, but we are responsible for how things “work” for our users. We conduct user interviews, user tests, create mockups, etc.

For me personally, being product manager for an empowered product team also gives a whole lot of meaning and purpose to the work I do.

So it’s not only about creating products customers love - but also loving the way of building such products. And this, to my experience, is very much possible by working on an empowered product team.