Jason Yip

Roles and responsibilities questions are quite typical when considering how to setup product development organisations. For example, something along the lines of:

  • “What roles should you have on teams?”
  • “What should be the responsibilities of each role?”

In every case I’ve encountered these kinds of questions, there is a preceding question that should have been asked first: “What problem are you trying to solve?”

Product strategy defines what activities are relevant; the relevant activities define what roles and responsibilities are required. Different stages of the product life cycle require different activities (experimentation, iteration, optimisation); different activities require different roles and responsibilities.

In other words, roles and responsibilities should follow product strategy.