ResourcesBlogAI Governance for Product Managers: Navigating Challenges and Opportunities

AI Governance for Product Managers: Navigating Challenges and Opportunities


Why Governance is Needed for AI in Product Management

AI Governance for Product Managers

The rise of AI in product management has brought with it a slew of challenges and opportunities. As AI continues to evolve and integrate into various aspects of business, it’s imperative for product managers to understand and implement effective AI governance. This blog post delves into the importance of AI governance, the challenges faced by product managers, and some insights from industry experts.

The Need for AI Governance

Upon entering the governance scene, one might find it surprisingly lacking in structure and organization. Despite this, the potential for profitability is evident. Implementing basic governance measures can significantly enhance profitability and streamline operations.

One major challenge is data management across different lines of business within an organization. Often, one line of business may optimize for its own needs, resulting in data debt and sending downstream faulty and non-interoperable data products. This is where governance plays a crucial role, ensuring data integrity and interoperability across the organization.

AI as an Ingredient, Not the Solution

AI is often misunderstood as the end solution rather than an ingredient in creating a larger solution. Product managers must understand that AI is part of the augmented product, surrounding it with both benefits and challenges. When something goes wrong, it’s not just a product issue but a company-wide problem affecting trust and reputation.

Holistic View of AI Governance

Sprinkling AI on products like parmesan cheese is not the solution. A holistic view of AI governance involves considerations beyond just legal and compliance aspects. Fairness, equity, and transparency are equally important. Product managers find themselves in the middle of various conversations with legal, compliance, data governance, and ethical committees.

AI Governance: Time Saver or Time Sink?

Is AI governance a time saver or a time sink for product managers? The consensus is that while governance might seem cumbersome, it’s a necessary investment. As Admiral Ackbar’s immortal words suggest, “It’s a trap” to believe one can skip governance and focus solely on delivery. Proper governance ensures product safety, compliance, and builds trust among users.

AI Governance Across Regions

Regional governance and laws add another layer of complexity. Different countries and states have varying regulations around AI, data privacy, and compliance. Product managers must be aware of these regional differences and adapt their products accordingly.

Resources for Product Managers

Finding resources on AI governance can be a challenge. While some companies provide in-house resources, others rely on industry standards and publications. Frameworks like PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, Legal) can help product managers anticipate and address AI governance issues proactively.

Successes and Failures in AI Products

Learning from successes and failures is crucial for product managers. Khan Academy stands out as a success story, integrating AI responsibly to enhance student engagement and learning. On the other hand, Air Canada’s chatbot debacle serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the importance of aligning product capabilities with governance policies.

AI in Product Management

AI governance is not just a buzzword but a critical aspect of AI in product management. Product managers must navigate the complexities of AI governance, from data management and compliance to transparency and trust-building. By understanding these challenges and opportunities, product managers can lead their organizations towards AI-driven success while mitigating risks effectively.

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Dean Peters
Principal Consultant & Trainer

Dean offers nearly twenty years of experience in product management with a prior decade as a software developer for real-time system integration. Driven by a passion for replacing pain points with user delight, he has empowered teams in startups such as Dude Solutions, Aprimo, and Seven Lakes Technologies and enterprise settings such as IQVIA, Citrix, and McClatchy. Leaning on his ability to translate technical details into valuable outcomes, Dean has led a number of innovations in the areas of AI, NLP, and Mobile across various domains, including healthcare, energy, education, law enforcement, and news media.

April 25, 2024