We’ve heard about the importance of empowering employees. Studies have shown a link between employee empowerment and engagement. Furthermore, when employers give employees the responsibility to lead and make decisions, employees become highly motivated, creative, and productive.

Empowerment is critical for organizations developing successful digital offerings, as markets have become more dynamic, barriers to entry have lowered, and customer needs are consistently in flux. The fact that product teams, led by product managers, must respond quickly to customer data and feedback, as well as requests from an increasing number of stakeholders, is only one reason for empowering product managers.

Empowered product managers are given the autonomy and resources to make strategic decisions about their products — decisions that drive product and organizational success.

Below are four key support points for empowering product management:

  • Innovation. Empowerment can foster new ideas by giving product management the freedom to experiment, identify unique white-space opportunities, and develop creative approaches to customer and business problems. Empowered product managers also feel free to be curious and learn more about customer problems and what drives them.
  • Speed. Product teams measure themselves by metrics such as time to market and time to value and therefore have the responsibility of delivering high-value solutions as quickly as possible. This requires quick responses to market changes, fast decision-making, and decisive execution. Empowered product managers who take responsibility for mistakes as well as successes can make good decisions faster.
  • Cross-functional collaboration. Product managers must work with teams — and leaders — across the organization, including user experience, development, marketing, and sales. Empowerment can help facilitate cross-functional collaboration by giving product managers the authority to orchestrate work with other functions through the product lifecycle and make product decisions that affect other teams.
  • Customer focus. Empowered product managers can more easily make decisions that are in the best interest of customers. People who lack empowerment will feel pulled in many directions when making prioritization decisions and may defer to the loudest or most senior voice in the room. Empowered product managers must make those same tough decisions but have a clear set of metrics and scorecards for support.

Join us at this year’s B2B Summit North America on June 5–7 in Austin, Texas, (and digitally) to hear more about the keys to digital product management success.