Product Management in a DevOps World

I recently gave a talk at O'Reilly Velocity, and wrote an accompanying blog post on the PagerDuty blog, about product management within a DevOps organization. I think it's important for product managers to understand the impact their choices have on software operability, and for engineering teams— whether DevOps or other— to have an understanding of how their choices affect product.

The thrust of my talk was that the closer you put people to the consequences of their actions, the more optimal decisions they make. This has been part of the devops conversation for years, but I haven't seen it discussed much with regard to product.

I also discussed how teams should think about all risks to a project's success, not just the obvious ones. Technical failure, UX failure, market failure, and team burnout can all prevent a project's success, and one of the great things about a cross-functional team is that you can attack the largest / most important risk, regardless of what area it's in.

People seemed to enjoy the talk. I got some great questions afterwards, from both product managers and engineers, about how disjointed that relationship seemed. If you have stories of particularly effective (or ineffective) collaboration across product, development, and operations, I'd love to hear them— hit me up at @dshack on Twitter or the old-fashioned way at