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Product Governance Product People

Why product governance is a hot topic right now.

Product governance is hot topic right now

What is product governance?

Product governance refers to the active oversight of ongoing product-led growth strategy, compliance, risk management and protection of product trust. Product oversight requires quick access to reliable data, active monitoring and collaboration across the business.
How can you maximise the benefits? How to put an ideal model in place? And who should be involved? 

My last article –  5 questions Directors should raise with their Chief Product Officer received a great response and requests for more information.

So, we're going to examine a fresh take on the definition of product lifecycle governance and ideas to ensure compliance so that Boards and Chief Product Officers can deliver two essential needs: the growth of the business and making sure this is done in a robust and compliant manner. 
Key points:
  • What will the future of product governance look like? A new trust-centred definition of product governance will enable organisations to improve how they design, distribute and monitor and review their product strategies.
  • In the day-to-day operations, three functions play the important role of ensuring that diversity of thought feeds into the  strategic lifecycle process:  product management and marketing and also legal and risk teams
  • Using a digital workspace with automated product lifecycle management and governance to reduce the time and cost of implementing a product governance model.  
What is product governance?

Product governance is a great framework when you want to excel at strategic decision-making and balance growth with compliance.  It enables you to understand your product across all stages of the lifecycle and produces insights that mean you innovate and improve your product based on sustainable, social and reputation aspects. Today a in this blog a quick rundown on why product leaders need to be at the forefront of lifecycle governance.

Let's break down what product governance is all about first.

Product lifecycle governance refers to the framework a company uses to manage product development, launch, monitoring and sunsetting. It is about making good, strategic decisions.

It is essential for product leaders as it ensures that products are designed and sold consistently, leading to better outcomes for the organisation, its customers, and the planet.

Who should be involved in the day-to-day business?

Board or Governance meetings receive updates on important product strategy initiatives, but the endless reams of power point decks don’t make it easy.  And then,  updates on product growth strategy, risk management and legal  are all presented separately. Another meeting goes by, and once again, the alignment and transparency you need gets buried. 

So what we have is a clear and strong need for  a  modern framework for product lifecycle governance.  A trust-centred product framework that puts customer at centre of product lifecycle management. the adoption of product lifecycle governance is a strategic decision for the organisation.  The product lifecycle governance is supported by a set of tool and procedures that are all automated in a design and monitoring workspace.

There are 4 important phases in product lifecycle management and governance:  the design phase, the distribution phase and then monitoring and review so you can continuously improve.  See the 4 phases and a short summary of them below:

Product governance leaders can make a significant contribution to the commercial success of the business.  This requires alignment and a shared effort across the business; one that pulls together a collective mindset from your key functional areas,  is  backed by real-time product insights, advanced data analytics and can be implemented quickly and efficiently.  In the day to day operations,  your Chief Product Officer, Chief Risk Officer and Chief Regulatory / Legal Officer each  play an important role.

Its important to engage the right people and collaborate with business stakeholders. We like to start with these clear accountability purpose statements to keep everyone aligned, agile and engaged on product lifecycle governance:

Chief Product Officer Legal Counsel

Compliance Teams

Accountable for product governance including design and monitoring & review of each product - end to end - for organic growth, customer engagement and product trust.

Accountable to assign a product owner to each product strategy to ensure effective execution of product governance framework including product design and monitoring distribution obligations for all products.   This is a key role for oversight and implementation of product governance.

Review and sign-off of the product governance framework and TMD templates. 

Any changes to the TMD templates or more broadly the product governance procedures require the review and sign-off.

Approval of TMD's for high value or risky products.   

Accountable to evaluate the current and future regulatory & legal obligations that apply to  products including quality, social, environmental and governance obligations.      

Accountable to sign off that product governance framework and Target Market Determination meet internal policies and ensure they cover  non-financial and operational risk into the company risk management framework. 

Review and sign-off of any changes to TMD templates or product governance framework.

Participate in Product Governance and Risk Forum ideally monthly meetings.

An introduction to product governance concepts

A trust-centred product framework puts customers at centre of product lifecycle management and helps to proactively mitigate product related (non-financial) compliance risk.  A framework is a great way to make sense and communicate your product governance. Use the framework below to highlight important areas and develop a common understanding of product governance across your teams. The product governance framework and procedures cover the following stages including design, distribution, monitor/review and improvement:

The following diagram shows a pragmatic product governance framework that is automated in Skyjed so you can use to get started in your business:

Product Governance FrameworkYou can achieve  product success and compliance with these five principles:

  1. End-to-end life of product oversight from design, distribution, post-sales to sunsetting.
  2. Holistic review of product portfolios covering a 360 degree product view that covers  financial, non-financial and operational health indicators.
  3. Continuous monitoring and auditing of the underlying drivers of product performance and health in a rolling annual schedule of product reviews to find opportunity and emerging risk.
  4. Product managers as the single point of responsibility for a product strategy with connections across the entire organisation to breakdown silos.  The product manager engage and report to stakeholders on product monitoring and action plans.
  5. Continuous improvement with point-in-time health-checks and action plans to address product trigger points and assist strategy correction when faced with disruption and business model pivots.

Getting Started

Taking the time to plan and implement an automated tool for your product governance framework sets you up for success.  Watch this short video.   Here are some steps we recommend you invest time in from day one.  We have broken the phases down into 4 steps that product teams can use to operationalise their product governance using an automated tool..  Most teams focus on step 1 and 2 however best practice includes setting up consistent and ongoing monitoring.

Step: Plan a product governance framework for all life stages. 

Modern Product Governance: The product governance process should sit across ALL products – both new and existing products. The phases of product governance are design phase, distribution phase and monitoring and review phase and using improvement actions.

Step:  Design workspace for new and existing products. 

Modern Product Governance: Agile has a continuous improvement cycle for new product development and managing a product backlog. Complement that with two steps: 

1. Use a Product Design workspace to set your product design and requirements eg Target Market Determination.  The TMD is emerging tool to specify your regulatory conditions for product design and distribution. A TMD template is a concise document that describes your target market, distribution obligations and triggers that alert you that your product is not fit for purpose. 

2. After setting the TMD you are then ready to monitor & review  the TMD and product.   The monitoring workspace automates your monitoring and review and puts the customer at the centre by monitoring your target market determination (TMD).

Setting a rolling annual product monitoring schedule and product trigger points are your next.

Step: Make customer trust a core metric of your product management team. 

Modern Product Governance:  Add monitoring customer engagement and trust to your product management job description and result areas -   from design to distribution phases.  The monitoring and review customer outcomes is important including customer engagement, complaints, sales metrics, marketing campaigns and customer success metrics.  Make sure you monitor and review your product at planned intervals set out in the rolling annual governance schedule.


Step: Engage and Report product health effectively throughout the organisation. 

Modern Product Governance:  There is a trend towards shorter planning and review cycles strategy correction in 2021.  Product ‘domains and drivers’ are useful to review and assess product health in 90 day product planning.  Use a digital tool like Skyjed which includes an automated product governance scheduler and reports.  You can schedule one off or recurring events to complete an initial review and ongoing product reviews.  With the reports all automated you can engage and report to stakeholders quickly and effectively.


Step: Ensure your product management professionals complete product monitoring reviews using product triggers.

Modern Product Governance:  Start your product team on the journey of annual product strategy plans and with setting a product governance calendar for review cycles.  Effective review cycles will help you be more strategic by conducting a  product audit and automated insights and reports with AI-based software like Skyjed. 

Skyjed's platform enables product managers to easily design, monitor and review their products and streamline the workflow of monitoring and reporting.  The Skyjed monitoring workspace includes all the automated tools you need to schedule and conduct your initial and rolling annual product reviews.   At this point product triggers are useful tool to be alerted of issues in your product.    Skyjed's workflow tool enables you to automate the monitoring of review trigger points.

When a trigger threshold is met or exceeded, an action is automatically created and you, the product owner will receive a notification.  The trigger workflow is easy to set up and takes 1-3 minutes per product.



The end result is an automated processes to make product lifecycle management and governance more efficient.  It means faster and better strategic product decisions.   So if you would like to take a more in-depth look and ensure your organisation is refining your existing product management practices here are some of my recent articles on product governance and customer trust. -   digitise your lifecycle governance, What is Product Trust?Product Governance Checklist and 12 Tips to Solve Product Governance for your new and existing products, and Product design and distribution obligations.

So if you want to finalise your framework and consider a tool to automate the important functions get in touch. Request a proposal here

 About Skyjed

Skyjed is product lifecycle and governance platform. Skyjed’s Ai-powered end-to-end product platform bring together every data point across the entire product portfolio into a single source of product truth.  Skyjed was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in London, United Kingdom with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. For more information visit Skyjed