Product Management

Bridging Perspectives: Unpacking Product Management Across Borders

Stepping into the buzz of the #MTPcon 2023 in London, it struck me how the term 'Product Owner' in the Netherlands can mean vastly different things. This got me thinking—how well do we really understand our own product roles back home?

Here's something to chew on: the title 'Product Owner' can mean anything from a team role to a managerial position in the Dutch tech scene. Does this flexibility help or hinder us? It's worth considering how organizations define these roles and the impact that it has on our products and teams.

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AUTHOR

Photo of Jasper Venema

Jasper Venema

Senior Product Owner

Published November 29, 2023

2 minutes read

Value Over Complexity

Tim Harford’s keynote was a reminder that value often comes in simple packages. Think about this in terms of your own work: are you making things more complicated than they need to be? Are you focusing on delivering real value to your customers, or getting caught up in the sophistication of your products?

Growth Over Structure

Wise’s Nilan Peiris talked about making products that are not just better, but 10 times better than the alternative. In the Dutch market, with our pragmatic approach, are we creating that level of difference? Or are we getting lost in organizational structures and roles that don't necessarily serve our mission?

Individual Paths Over Titles

Susana Lopes introduced us to the idea of dual-track career ladders, a concept that could resonate deeply within the Dutch market. Are we providing clear paths for growth that don’t force everyone into managerial roles, or are we sticking to a one-size-fits-all career trajectory?

Learning Over Fearing Failure

Marc Abraham emphasized learning from failure. In the Netherlands, we pride ourselves on being direct and upfront. But does that extend to how we deal with product setbacks? Are we creating environments where learning is valued over playing it safe?

Humanity Over Technology

As AI becomes more prevalent, Claire Woodcock's insights remind us to stay grounded in the human element. Let's ask ourselves: In our quest for the cutting edge, are we still building product with the customer at the heart?

Perception Over Pretense

Randy Silver talked about the perception of collaboration. It's a good time to reflect on how we perceive our roles and collaborate with others. Are we working in silos, or are we truly leveraging diverse perspectives to achieve our mission?

Final Thoughts

The insights from the conference are a call to action: let’s take a hard look at our roles and ask the tough questions. Are we aligning with international best practices, or are we carving out a uniquely Dutch approach to product management? And most importantly, is it working?

As we bring these thoughts back into our daily work, let's not just slip back into our defined roles. Instead, let's question, challenge, and redefine them to truly serve our products, our teams, and our customers.

As you ponder about Product and explore the potential within your product management practices, remember that you're not navigating these waters alone. We, the 25Friday team, are dedicated to guiding tech companies through the maze of product strategy. With our expertise in consultancy and nearshore development, we partner with organisations to fine-tune their product vision, align their teams, and craft strategies that resonate in today’s dynamic market. Reach out to us, and let's work together to turn your product challenges into successful ventures that stand out in the tech landscape.