Product Stewardship

By Progression

World class products are much more than their constituent code and design. A great product requires a knowledgeable management team, responsive customer support, a proactive approach to diversity and inclusion and a rock solid ethical foundation.

Level 1

Is able to be involved with customer support, to have some input into product decisions. Is aware of how a lack of diverse voices can negatively impact a product.

  • Customer support and success: You help out with customer support and success when requested.

  • Diversity and inclusion: You are aware that your own life experiences may not be representative of all users, and therefore building a product "for yourself" risks excluding a large audience.

  • Ethics: You are aware that without periodic reflection on ethics a team may create a product that advertently or inadvertently harms others.

  • Product ownership: You provide some input into product strategy and direction, usually when asked by another.

Level 2

Is regularly involved with customer support and influences product strategy. Takes steps to ensure product is inclusive and ethical.

  • Customer support and success: You are regularly involved with customer support. You see customer support as an opportunity to learn about how customers want to use the product.

  • Diversity and inclusion: You take steps to build a product which is inclusive for a broad swath of society. E.g. considering how open personal privacy defaults may be seen as more of a risk by different genders.

  • Ethics: You take steps to ensure the product cannot easily be used for unethical behaviour e.g. stalking, doxing or bullying.

  • Product ownership: You apply your own expertise (e.g. engineering, design or industry background) to contribute to the product vision and strategy.

Level 3

The ability to be a real customer advocate, going above and beyond to ensure customer success, to be integral to product strategy and seeking the counsel of others to counter innate team biases.

  • Customer support and success: In customer support and success, you go above and beyond "good enough" to ensure customers have a positive perception of the company.

  • Product ownership: You are a core driver of product strategy and vision, effectively communicating a bold, positive vision of where the product is going.

  • Diversity and inclusion: You pro-actively seeks advice and opinions on product issues and opportunities from a diverse range of people.

  • Ethics: You are an internal champion for the business benefits of operating ethically and building products which minimise the opportunity to cause harm.

Level 4

The ability to build processes and culture to help others provide brilliant customer support and create a culture of inclusive and ethical product development.

  • Customer support and success: You create process and company culture around exceptional customer support.

  • Product ownership: You enable others to feel a strong sense of ownership and control over their section of the product. You ensure that the efforts of the whole team are focused on progressing towards the big vision.

  • Diversity and inclusion: You effectively communicate the benefits of building an inclusive product. You take steps to build a product culture that considers the needs and viewpoints of a diverse range of groups.

  • Ethics: You create a company culture that considers the ethical as well as financial impact of decisions. Recognises that operating ethically does not come at the cost of success.

Level 5

Is able to be a recognised voice in the industry for Customer Success, product ownership, diversity and inclusion or ethics.

  • Customer support and success: You are a recognised voice in the industry on how customer support and success can be used as a competitive advantage.

  • Product ownership: You champion the product vision outside of the company, facilitating collaboration with investors, partners and regulators.

  • Diversity and inclusion: You are a recognised voice in the industry for promoting diversity and inclusion in product development.

  • Ethics: You are a recognised voice in the industry for promoting ethical products. Consistently finds ways to "do good while doing well".

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