You may be familiar with the old joke about the chicken & pig’s relative contributions to breakfast — the chicken, of course, being involved by virtue of providing the eggs, and the pig being committed vis-a-vis the bacon. The origin of this saying is now lost to antiquity, but it has been adopted as an illustration of dedication by sports personalities and business coaches because it manages to capture these relative levels of engagement succinctly and powerfully.
I found myself reaching for the chicken & pig business fable this week in the context of Product Ownership. We’ve got a back-office product that’s just not getting a lot of love from the business — lots of people who want to provide input, but nobody who’s interested in taking ownership.
This isn’t unexpected or unreasonable. Product Management as a professional discipline is still largely nascent. On top of that, initiatives that raise the top line are always an easier sell than back-office cost-center programs. For these reasons, I’m not sure that accounting, billing, document-management and other cross-cutting infrastructure-like programs are likely to lead the way in agile adoption or digital transformation, but transform they must — eventually.