I'm interested to know how the relationship works between product designers and product managers at your company. What's your process for designing and shipping features? Who ultimately makes product decisions? I'm attempting to figure out how those relationships at my company compare, and honestly if there is a standard. Thanks.
My relationship with Product manager is usually small interaction when he shows us the Product Requirements Document and lets us figure out the solutions or discuss the possible approaches if needed. Once we come up with solutions, he helps us to collaborate with developers and facilitate the release. He makes product decisions based on our thought process and it's final.
All this totally changed with I joined a new company where I work in small focused scrum teams. The product manager is my peer and a good friend and we solve the problem together. We conduct design sprints. She helps to facilitate that and also splits the user research and user interview process. She takes the final product decisions, but we usually come up with that decision together. We don't exclude developers & testers from our design process and feel great ideas come from them, so we include everyone in the team during our ideation process and pick the best ideas and then work on them. So when we have sprint planning to develop these solutions, devs won't have many concerns and we usually ship faster. It might look a bit hectic, but I feel it's one of the best process ever.
I don't think there is any standard out there and it highly depends on how your team is structured, but working with a PM helps us (designers) to rationally think like how can we deliver a better solution faster
That sounds great. It doesn't sound hectic to me! I think your process is smart. It's something the designers on my team are trying to advocate for. Can I ask on your team are the designers involved in roadmap planning? And does your team build in time for user validation and feedback before you commit to new feature ideas?
Yes, we are involved in planning the roadmap, but unlike other roadmaps I've seen in past, this is not detailed. It's high-level target areas that we set for this quarter and plan accordingly. As a team, we again figure out all the ideas that contribute to the target problem we set, and we plan sprints based on that. Since the target is set of quarter, all the solutions are tested with our users and see if we hit the target.
Thank you so much for your responses. I appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions! In an attempt to elevate design's role in our process I am trying to talk to as many product designers as I can to learn about how they work. If you'd be interested in talking more I'd love to connect with you via email etc.
That sounds like an awesome process!
I'm freelance now. But we worked as peers. He would be in and out of design meetings and give input/feedback based on his understanding of the dev team and intent leads.
Thanks for your input!