Product Management [sic]

I don’t like reading Twitter, let alone quoting it…but this thread is something that came into my view and admittedly it has some very good points.

I  particularly like these points:


I have problems with the Product Management role, which can also be called Product Owner, Project Manager, … there is a ill defined ‘scopeless nature’ of each of these roles and they are often used evasively and interchangeably. Product Owner is particularly insideous as it is tinged with the Agile religons practice of ‘proxying the user’ (of which they use many tools – empathy maps, avatars etc).

I don’t know Noah Weiss, never heard of him before today, but he seems to have some culture capital in this area going by the amount of chatter on that thread. I can only say it is refreshing to see someone with such high cultural capital speaking sense.

My own take on all of the above is that the role of facilitator is never called out or given a central focus. Noah Weiss speaks of facilitation as a feature of ‘product management’ but I think it is the definition of the role. So much so that I prefer to throw away terms like ‘Product Manager'(etc) in favour of Facilitator. Titles are strong sign posts, navigational instruments that act as framing devices. Hence where lang doesn’t work I like to seek out a more compelling and accurate lexicon. Which is why we (at Coko) don’t have Product Managers etc… we have a Facilitator, which is basically me, and as we scale my job now is to embed that understanding and role definition/practice in the culture and school others (gently) as to what that means.

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