Do your engineers care about shipping “the right” features?
Are your devs focused on feasibility? Here’s why you should encourage our product peers to take responsibility for creating customer value.

It’s easy to split product team responsibilities if you wanted to:

PM / PO = Desirability & Viability Risk

Designer = Usability Risk

Engineer = Feasibility Risk

For some developers, there’s really nothing they want to do away from technical topics. This manifests in statements like:

• “I have enough to do already!”

• “I want to take care of engineering.”

• “The Scrum Guide says the PO is responsible for prioritizing features.”

• “The PO doesn’t tell me what the DB scheme is supposed to look like. So I won’t tell her what to do.”

Why we should encourage our product peers to take responsibility for creating customer value.

Think of a junior product owner who may prioritize features that don’t contribute to the current product goal. When developers or designers notice this, there is a reason to be excited.

A product team benefits enormously from the different perspectives of the individual members.

If we limit the individuals and their responsibilities only to their roles, it will be difficult to build actual collaboration. Because otherwise each person will only think about their own duties and the defense of these.

Here’s what Teresa Torres wrote about that topic in her article “Who’s Responsible for What in the Product Trio?“:

“If you say an engineer is responsible for feasibility and a designer is responsible for usability, then what happens when the most usable design isn’t the most feasible?

It puts the engineer and the designer at odds. But when both the engineer and the designer are responsible for both, they now have to work together, each contributing their own expertise, to find a usable and feasible solution.”

  • Teresa Torres