Product Culture Definition - Product culture is a mindset that describes a specific product’s development and the philosophy which drives it. A properly defined product culture ensures that a product remains innovative, customer-centric, and driven by passion.
Product culture is really a reflection of a product management team who have taken on the “product mindset” instead of the process-driven “oldschool IT mindset” – and this philosophy is usually defined from the very top of a business.
The product mindset, which is central to developing a true product culture, is best thought of as a development philosophy. Unlike in the IT mindset, where development decisions are driven by the apparent needs of the business (such as financial targets), the product mindset puts the customer experience above all else.
It’s not about driving as much revenue as possible by adding as many new features as possible. Instead, it’s about discovering customer problems and developing the tools to solve them.
Developing a product mindset isn’t easy unless everyone is on board with the concept.
For a good product culture to develop, it has to come from the top. It must be a mission statement that touches every part of the business and becomes part of its DNA. Company and team leaders like Heads of Product or CPOs must share this product mindset. They must truly believe in a customer-centric development methodology and invest in people who share that vision.
The biggest driver of a great product organization is a great leader. Like developing a product mindset, it can only happen if every team member is aligned with the mission. Having a passionate leader at the top of the business to steer the ship and inspire the product management team will plant the seeds of a great product organization. Once this ethos is established at the top, it’ll filter down to the rest of the organization.