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Published November 16 2021
Nicolas Demarteau, Product Coach
Nicolas Demarteau
Product Coach
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Everything you need to know about the Product Development Manifesto 

The product manager plays an important role within an organization. Without the execution of a certain set of principles, a product manager cannot fulfill their role and map out the roadmap of the features and products necessary for the organization to remain competitive. There is therefore a risk that the products will not meet customer expectations. Every product manager or product organization should encourage the creation of a manifesto for product managers, which fosters a culture of openness and accountability. 

But what is a manifesto all about? 

Simply put, “a manifesto is a published statement indicating the intentions, motives, or opinions of the issuer, whether it is an individual, group, political party, or a government." 

In this case, the key words are "published", "statement", and "intention(s)". How many people working in a so-called Agile environment have really taken notice of the Agile manifesto? We are satisfied with the descriptions indicating the tasks to be performed as a product manager. They do not, however, state the principles, intent, or purpose of the position. The implicit goals of the job description could simply be "deliver great products", "sell more products", or "retain market share", but these elements remain vague and limited. The moral and ethical obligations expected in the exercise of the function are not mentioned. 

A bit of history! 

Unless you've lived in a technology-free world, you're probably familiar with the Agile Manifesto. It has played a decisive role in software development and has rallied an entire industry around the concept of defining a better way to design software. The impact of the Agile Manifesto is now being felt far beyond the software industry, and its founders are seen as masters of their craft. Product managers enjoy unprecedented influence and importance, but they also face a series of new challenges: pandemics, climate change, and the urgent need to increase diversity and inclusion. New territory requires a new map, which brings us to the Product Development Manifesto! 

Why is a manifesto important? 

Manifestos connect your professional life, your personal values, your principles, your goals, and your achievements, and define the legacy you want to leave. The goal of the manifesto is to cultivate a habit of accountability and execution. It also provides product managers with the confidence needed to do things right. The manifesto described here takes the current global situation into account, and has been designed to shape our thinking as professional product managers. 

A new manifesto is ready! 

Product managers working for Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Walmart, Airbnb, and others have come together to create a "Product Development Manifesto" that consolidates unifying values for all product managers. 

The Manifesto provides an overview of the ten principles that underpin product stewardship today. Those principles revolve around universal issues that all product managers inevitably face, such as "how to identify product opportunities" or "how to prioritize and ensure tactical execution". 

Created iteratively using the same processes as the cutting-edge products the working group works on every day, the Product Development Manifesto was written through a structured five-step process that incorporates comments and ideas from a diverse group of people from the product industry. The Product School is now inviting members of the larger product community to sign the Manifesto and to contribute to history.