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Projects-to-Products: How to Organize

By Brian Nathanson posted Oct 17, 2019 01:11 PM


When making a significant change like transitioning from projects to products, it only makes sense that you might rethink how you are organized. As an organization that is confident about the success we've seen in completing our agile transformation and scaling agile to our product line, we felt it might make sense to provide details of our organizational structure as a potential guideline for how to organize in the product world.

Key aspects of the structure defined below:

  • Product Management and Engineering are two separate but equal functions. This allows input from each side to be weighed when making the tough decisions to balance business demands with technical complexity/feasibility.
  • Product Owners (who usually also have the title 'Product Manager') report into the Product Management side since the business ultimately determines the priority and value of what is being delivered, but they spend most of their time embedded with one or more engineering teams, working on specific features or value elements.
  • There is a Chief Product Officer who supervises all of the Product Owners and reports in to the Head of Product Management. This role is responsible for coordination across all of the work being delivered through coordination between Product Owners as well as coordination with the Engineering Managers.
  • The Program Manager insures that any release-specific activities are taken care of and that any other "whole product" coordination issues are registered and tracked.

Like it? Hate it? Have something different that works for you? Fill us in through the comments.