For any product development to succeed, there needs to be a strong alignment of product management, user experience, and engineering. Without having these elements on the same page and working toward common goals, everyone is likely to be heading off in a different direction. It’s not efficient and it won’t lead your company where it wants to go.
However, before you can get people working together in unison, rethink how these groups – project management, product management, user experience, and engineering – see themselves. Rather than maintaining separate functional “fiefdoms,” they need to come together as one cohesive team. As one team, they will share responsibility for pushing product development activity along with a shared set of goals and incentives.
Incentivizing the Product Development Teams
Aligned incentives are vital to getting people who formerly considered themselves part of a stand-alone team to instead focus on common objectives. Incentives offered should not be linked to when their individual goals are reached. Instead, the focus needs to be on meeting shared goals. That’s when the company will benefit most. It’s also when project management, product management, and engineering groups will too. It should also be noted that not all employees are financially motivated. So it is important that the management team has a strong grip on what drives employee behaviors.
The Four Essential Shared Goals
There are four key goals that every combined development team should strive to meet before the company hands out incentives to employees:
1 – Enable achievement of the organization’s projected sales and margin rates
2 – Publish product roadmaps that are 100% resourced
3 – Attain customer-facing roadmap deliverables (Example: on time, on scope, and on budget execution)
4 – Attain compliance with your organizations product lifecycle management process
In my next post, I will break down each of the four essential shared goals listed above. You’ll soon see how sharing goals can positively impact the overall success of your entire product development process. In addition, it will help your team stand out to management for the exceptional work it’s done.