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Build it Right: Digital Governance for Product Managers

Build it Right: Digital Governance for Product Managers

I created this presentation for the Mind the Product event in 2021. In the presentation, I talk about the governance challenges product managers face and offer advice about what they can so to help mature digital governance where they work

I created this presentation for the Mind the Product event in 2021. In the presentation, I talk about the governance challenges product managers face and offer advice about what they can so to help mature digital governance where they work

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Build it Right: Digital Governance for Product Managers

  1. 1. Build it Right Lisa Welchman
  2. 2. “Every bad thing that can happen in the real world can now happen on the Internet.” Vint Cerf
  3. 3. Governance is about defining ways for people to work together to meet shared goals. Governance
  4. 4. What governance is not • A workflow • A committee • A way to make your job harder
  5. 5. Clarity about goals
  6. 6. Clear values
  7. 7. Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash Clear rules
  8. 8. Rules are normal
  9. 9. They are how things grow and what holds the world together.
  10. 10. Rules are why we have a job.
  11. 11. A digital governance framework Scope Strategy Guidance Team Who defines these things? What is “digital?”
  12. 12. Caught in a non-strategic production cycle that pushes digital teams towards burn out and the creation of ill-considered and low-quality product. Innovation Hyperbole Digital Sprawl
  13. 13. Strategic Innovation Digital Quality & Safety How do organizations evolve the product development collaboration environment so that there is a good balance of innovation, agility and safety?
  14. 14. Organizations with poorly designed governance frameworks often produce lower quality, and unsafe online experiences. That’s not always a problem for leadership. A truth
  15. 15. What do you do as product managers?
  16. 16. Understand where you are and the nature of what you are doing. Find opportunities to shift behaviors towards shared goals and values—you have those even if they haven’t been defined. Context
  17. 17. Where are you? Is your organization immature or only digitally immature?
  18. 18. Digitally immature organizations are often strong on governance—just not digital governance Digital-first organization are often strong on digital and weak on governance.
  19. 19. Understand the relative permanence & impermanence of what you are building and manage accordingly.
  20. 20. From How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built Stewart Brand, 1994 (after Frank Duffy) Do your best with things that have longer term permanence. They will be harder to change later. • Business models • Architectural models (data, content, taxonomies) • Technology stacks
  21. 21. Where is the product and team—developmentally?
  22. 22. the launch chaos strategic collaboration maturity Product and team growth & maturity
  23. 23. Launch | Growth | Maturity Invention, Research & Development You are scaling: • Team • Technology • Users The product is mature and mission critical
  24. 24. Launch | Growth | Mature Invention, Research & Development You are scaling: • Team • Technology • Users The product is mature and mission critical Who can improve governance? Founders and Inventors Product Managers & Makers Executives & Regulatory Bodies
  25. 25. Building alignment around governance
  26. 26. 1. Connect silos and finding common ground with your peers 2. Build a digital community of practice 3. Talk to leadership about a governance framework (as a team) Things to do
  27. 27. Promote the value that taking the time to build products strategically and well is of tangible value to your organization. Engage with leadership
  28. 28. “Companies that deliver more value to wider society are also more profitable in the long term.” Alex Edmans
  29. 29. “Every bad thing that can happen in the real world can now happen on the Internet.” Vint Cerf “…and, every good thing.” Lisa Welchman  Thanks! Don’t give up. Your work and expertise are needed—and appreciated.
  30. 30. www.lisawelchman.com Digital Governance Fundamentals Online Course digitalgovernance.com Surfacing Podcast thesurfacingpodcast.com

Editor's Notes


  • Vint Cerf
    Sir Tim were speaking

    Internet 2020 and there was a sort of summing up of what had been done right and what they might change…and there was some hand wringing about that..

    That’s what we do. I kind of have a sense that once something is messed up, we can’t change it anymore, and that’s not true.

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