Scaling Product Management , Adapting it to Company Growth and Ensuring Alignment

Steven Timbers
3 min readJun 28, 2023

Growth is an exciting phase for any company. It’s a sign of success and promise for the future. However, this expansion often presents new challenges, particularly within product management. As the company size increases, the old systems and processes might not be as efficient or effective anymore. We recently experienced this and have revamped our product management processes to cope with substantial company growth by introducing simple but effective changes.

Processes — People, Systems & Documentation.

Lets start with… the Problem

Our product management processes and outputs were facing issues due to recent and substantial company growth. We identified two key areas within the product team for improvement:

  1. Transparency and visibility across the organisation: As the company grew, it became increasingly difficult to keep everyone updated and involved in the product process.
  2. Alignment and focus against company OKRs: With the increase in product and engineering teams, alignment with company objectives became more complex.

Our Approach

We performed a holistic review of our current processes, using product best practices as a baseline. We involved the entire product team, presenting our findings and gaining valuable feedback. We conducted discovery sessions with other departments within the organisation to identify the key areas of focus. Some of the key feedback we received included:

  • Uncertainty about the location of the up-to-date roadmap and lack of clarity on the product team’s ongoing projects.
  • Lack of understanding about how work is prioritised and enters a team’s backlog.
  • Difficulty in linking work back to company OKRs.
  • Desire from other teams to have input on initiatives and focus.

The Solution

To address these concerns, we worked on improving trust, visibility, and alignment. We introduced several changes, tested them, and iterated based on continuous feedback. Here are the improvements we implemented:

Transparency and Visibility:

  • We created a centralised, high-level product roadmap that is accessible to all and continuously updated. This roadmap serves as a one-stop source of truth for everyone in the organisation. For insights on building effective product roadmaps, this article from ProductPlan is a helpful resource.
  • We initiated monthly meetings with key teams to review and prioritise the roadmap. These meetings are also held ad-hoc when necessary.
  • We started providing company-wide updates at key product delivery points. These updates ensure that everyone in the organisation is on the same page regarding product development.

Alignment and focus against company OKRs:

  • We introduced a ‘one-pagers’ framework and template that is collaboratively built, clearly showing the impact on company OKRs. This approach makes it easier to understand and track how product initiatives align with our broader objectives. For more insights on setting and aligning OKRs, this guide from Weekdone can be particularly useful.

Conclusion

Navigating the challenges of company growth can be daunting, but with the right approach and continuous improvement mindset, product management processes can be effectively scaled. As product managers, it’s our responsibility to adapt and evolve our processes to meet the changing needs of the business. The aim is to maintain a balance between agility and just the right amount of process.

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Steven Timbers

Product Professional focused on a user-centric constant feedback approach to achieve high performing products. www.steventimbers.com