CHAPTER 16The Role of Leadership

The primary job of leadership in any technology organization is to recruit, to develop, and to retain strong talent. However, in a product company, the role goes beyond people development and into what we call holistic view of product.

For a startup, there's typically just one or two product teams, so it's not too hard for everyone to keep in their heads a holistic view of the product. However, this quickly becomes much tougher as the company grows—first to a larger product and soon to many product teams.

One of the big challenges of growth is knowing how the whole product hangs together. Some people like to think of holistic view as connecting the dots between the teams.

The three distinct but critical elements to the holistic view of product are described next.

Leaders of Product Management

To ensure a holistic view of how the entire system fits together from a business point of view (product vision, strategy, functionality, business rules, and business logic), we need either the leaders of the product management organization (VP product, directors of product), or a principal product manager.

This person should regularly review the work of the various product managers and product teams, identifying and helping to resolve conflicts.

For large‐scale organizations, some companies ...

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