In product management, the debate over decision-making authority rages on. Who should have the final say in shaping our products? The answer lies in a model that champions collaboration, evidence, and strong alignment to a business domain.
Decentralizing decision-making is key. Trusting only senior managers or business stakeholders leads to biased outcomes. Instead, as adopted by a growing number of organizations, the Product Trio model suggests decision-making be trusted to a group consisting of a Product Manager, Product Engineer, and Product Designer. This group forms the core of the Autonomous Product Team. Their collective expertise ensures balanced decision-making and eliminates silos.
To make this model work, managers must embrace a cross-disciplinary spirit. They should foster collaboration and remove barriers between disciplines. However, there is a missing element: aligning the Product Team (and its central Product Trio) to clearly defined business objectives that they can reach autonomously.
This way of providing the team with context empowers teams to make informed decisions. Company leaders set strategic context in the form of measurable business outcomes, while tactical context (opportunities and bets) is shared transparently within product teams.
Implementing this model requires merging disciplinary silos, establishing clear roles, removing dependencies, creating clear OKRs at each product team’s level, and fostering a culture of experimentation and continuous learning. By empowering product teams and breaking down traditional hierarchies, we unleash the full potential of our organization.
Let’s embrace a new paradigm of autonomy in decision-making and empower our product teams to drive innovation and success. Together, we can shape the future of our products and create exceptional experiences for our customers.