I’m very fortunate to be able to say that I’m 100% part of my super awesome team. There are 2 main factors that allow that level of cohesion, I believe. Trust is #1. I trust my team completely, each and every one of them - I know that at any given moment they are, as individuals and as a team, doing the best that they can do. I believe they trust me the same way. We succeed as a team and we fail as a team - I will never blame the team publicly for a failure and they have the same respect for me.
Empathy is #2. I’ve been working with devs for 15+ years and I understand what frustrates them - and I try really hard not to be that. I’ve also been candid with the team about ‘what exactly I do all day’ (i.e all the stuff I deal with before it gets to them and distracts them)… so they can hopefully have some empathy for me too.
Honestly, I can’t imagine feeling like I was not a ‘full’ part of the team or that I was something of an outsider. Without my team, all I have is a vision. And a lot of angry people who want stuff. Without me, all the team has is a bunch of code. And a lot of angry people who don’t want THAT code, they want THIS code. The only way we succeed is holding each other up as we march (or stumble) towards a common goal.
My team is the best part of my day, every day. We have a fairly large product management team at my company. But when I’m talking with someone and I say ‘My team…’, it’s not the other product managers I’m talking about. It’s my scrum team.
Am I unique? Do other POs not feel like they are really part of the team? Do you think that PO/Dev relationships affect the success and/or struggles of a team?