What is the most common environmental constraint that impacts product owners?
In the world of product ownership, there are several constraints that professionals often grapple with. However, one of the most prominent challenges lies in truly owning a product. A product being something that is usable for the end user.
The ownership challenge
Typically, what we see is that a product owner does not entirely own the product. Instead, they only own a part of it. This segmented ownership leads us to label them as component owners, creating a fractured view of the product.
Being a piece in the larger puzzle of product development can be a significant constraint for product owners. Even if their section is perfectly executed, the overall product can still fail if the other components aren’t up to par. This disconnection can result in less-than-optimal outcomes for the product as a whole.
The Santa Claus rule: One product, one owner
To overcome this, we often refer to what I like to call the Santa Claus rule. The idea is simple: for every product – and it must be a real product – there should be only one product owner.
This sole owner is then fully in charge, responsible for managing all aspects of the product. This streamlined ownership eliminates fragmentation, providing the product owner with the authority and accountability required to oversee the product’s success effectively.