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Organizing platform development

Dealing with shared services (AKF Partners blog) strikes a chord for a platform product manager. I can attest to the issues that arise with shared platform teams: overloaded backlogs, undecipherable priorities, increased time to market, loss of ability to drive innovation.

In the end, platform must exist to increase the speed of software products to market. As soon it becomes an encumbrance, it should be re-imagined, replaced or removed altogether. From the article:

Remember, whatever mechanisms you put in place, your shared service or tools team should be a gas pedal and not a break for TTM.

During planning, teams will regularly take dependencies on platform to deliver necessary features for their market. When all of the requests are summed up, many teams will be let down because their requests cannot be fulfilled.

So, the suggestion to run internal platform components similarly to open source projects is a good one and is a fertile middle ground between complete lockdown and utter chaos. It does, however, come with taxes in the form of code reviews, merges, documentation and collaboration with other contributors. But running platform in this way allows continued innovation and a strategic roadmap while putting more control into the hands of product teams.


Categories: Platforms, Product Development, Technology.

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