What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager (And Why They Matter)

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What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager (And Why They Matter)

What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager (And Why They Matter)

What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager

What Is the Role of a SAFe Product Manager (And Why They Matter)

A SAFe product manager has various different responsibilities. For instance, working closely together with the Product Owner. Find out more about this role.

Keyword(s): SAFe product manager

Are you implementing the Scaled Agile Framework within your company or organization? Have you been hearing about how everyone else is going agile or incorporating lean and you’re not quite sure what that means?

If you’re not sure whether or not your company could benefit from hiring a product manager then keep reading. If you’re a product manager who’s not quite sure how you fit into your company, then you’re in the right place too.

Don’t worry; we’re going to break down what a SAFe product manager is. We'll also look at how they can help you incorporate an agile workplace into your product development.

Let’s get started.

What Is a Product Manager?

In today's fast-paced world, customers expect new and exciting products regularly. New features must be added to existing products, from physical devices to software, and apps alike.

If you're in the business of releasing and updating products, then you need a product manager. You need someone to oversee the entire project and ensure on-time delivery to happy customers.

The product manager is the front-end, customer-facing member of your team. The product manager looks at the company-wide goals and vision as well as the current state of their products. Then, they will focus on creating and updating the product line to fit the market demand.

They are also responsible for delivering the best product at the best value to the customer. In doing this, they must create a vision and roadmap for the development of the product.

Additionally, the PM will:

  • identify the features and benefits of the product that are important to the client
  • manage the product backlog
  • identify what will be worked on next
  • decide the order each feature will be rolled out

They will determine which items in the backlog will strategically fill the demands from the market. The PM also validates the priorities so that everyone can transparently see the items in the backlog. This also allows everyone to see how to deliver the best products to your customers.

This role is vital within the SAFe environment, and a successful PM will be able to identify how they fit into the Scaled Agile Framework.

How Does This Fit Into the SAFe Framework?

The SAFe system is a way for large organizations to structure their product development in a lean and start-up similar style. It provides a framework in which small teams within a large organization can operate. This allows large organizations to operate in an agile environment and experience the same benefits seen in smaller companies.

Through the planning and execution of release trains, product managers can incorporate ART to drive their products to market quickly, efficiently, and sustainably. Agile Release Train is a system in which a team of teams within an organization can operate to work towards a common vision and roadmap.

The person keeping everyone on the same page and working towards the same vision is the SAFe product owner/product manager. They are the Release train engineer and their job is to manage the ART team to ensure delivery of the product to the client.

The product manager must be highly trained in the SAFe system. This allows them to manage your teams and ensure timely delivery of your product. While your entire team, and really your entire organization must be trained in the agile method to ensure its success, the product manager must be specialized to properly manage the process.

Benefits of Having a SAFe Product Manager

When it comes to delivering a quality product to your customers, having a SAFe product manager ensures that your various departments are not working in separate silos.

Your design team needs to work with your marketing team. Both need to work with research and development to deliver the best product that your client will love and use every day.

The product manager ensures that these teams are working together and that they are working towards the same vision and final product features. Collaboration is a must in any agile environment.

Unfortunately, in many large organizations, it can be hard to strengthen the collaboration and communication amongst the various departments. Your product manager brings your teams together to ensure the proper collaboration happens. This means you can deliver an amazing final product.

The product manager clearly defines the expectations for each department and ensures that they are carried out. This role can be difficult to do without proper training. The PM must be able to communicate and negotiate between several departments.

They are the glue that holds together the team and unites the various departments working to create and deliver the product to the customer. This vital role is important to any company that wants to scale its growth while also remaining agile and lean within its industry.

Incorporate This Vital Role in Your Company Today

Product development is a team sport and your SAFe product manager is the coach leading the team onto the field. To be successful and to get the best product to market, you need a strong leader who will listen to your clients and guide your teams towards that final product.

Success will come when you can deliver quality products to happy customers. Do this while maintaining a lean and agile environment, you will see tremendous success for your company.

If you have more questions about the product manager role and how you can incorporate it into the agile workplace, contact us today. We’re in the business of building agile leaders every day and look forward to working with you and your company.

Agile Center

Agile Center provides consultancy and training services in the following areas: Lean-Agile Transformation, Agile Strategy audit & implementation and Agile Program/Portfolio management.

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