The Bystander effect or Bystander apathy is a well known social psychological theory that indicates that people are less likely to intervene in a crime or in a crisis if there are more witnesses of the crime. All of them seem to be thinking: “Someone else will call the police, for sure”, but nobody does.

This also applies to product management. When we trust only in documentation and processes, we all think someone else is having a look and will take charge of the hurdle, but nobody does. Meanwhile the issue grows endlessly. Focus should be on our product and not in the process (better if we got one, but it is not our main goal).

Tasks should always have someone assigned who will feel in charge of their delivery and have a clear deadline to avoid the blurring of the responsibility. Besides that, the Product Owner or Product Manager will be concerned of any difficulty we might be facing. The product is their ultimate duty.