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Roles and Responsibilities

The role of the Product Manager

‘A product manager is responsible for the quality of their products. In this role, you will be expected to use your knowledge of user needs and business goals to frame problems and set priorities for your delivery teams.’ (Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework)

The product manager works with the delivery team to:

  • Makes sure the product fits in with the Council’s priorities for our residents.
  • Make sure the product will meet residents and service needs and is accessible.
  • Define the vision, product strategy, and lead on creating the product roadmap.
  • Prioritise the backlog and features that will add value.
  • Comment on technical, content and design solutions.
  • Accept backlog items and tasks as ‘done’ when complete.
  • Define and measure success and adapt priorities accordingly.

(guidance adapted from GDS service manual)

Working with Delivery Managers

A delivery manager is accountable for the effectiveness of the team to deliver products and services. This compares with a product manager who is responsible for the quality and direction of that product and service. This means delivery managers and product managers have different roles and responsibilities within the delivery team:

Product ManagerDelivery Manager
Responsible for the quality and direction of the productAccountable for the performance of the delivery team to effectively deliver the product
Define user needs, problem, product vision, strategy and roadmapFacilitate the creation of the agile environment enabling the team to build and iterate the product, facilitating continuous improvement
Create and prioritise the product backlog and sprint goals (or equivalent)Focuses the team on sprint goals/milestones. Proactively removes obstacles and ‘blockers’ and coaches the team to do the same.
Accept if backlog items are complete - marking them as ‘done’Coach the delivery team to self-organise to best complete their work
Uses research, data, insight and market knowledge to inform product decisions and add valueBuilds, motivates, mentors and protects the team so that they are collaborating and working well
Work with stakeholders in the Council to get product buy-in and balance their priorities for the product with resident and council prioritiesWork with stakeholders in the Council to inform them of product progress, manage expectations and communicate risk
Act as main contact point for problems with the product and operating within constraintsOverseeing team budgets, contractors and team resource

It is important that our product managers work together with our delivery managers to deliver quality products on time. A positive and respectful relationship between delivery and product is important. The best partnerships have a healthy tension and respect for one another’s discipline that drives the product forward.

Further Information