MOCHA: The Secret Sauce to Streamlined Product Management

Rohit Verma
5 min readMay 27, 2024

Imagine this scenario: you’re about to launch a groundbreaking new feature that could transform your product’s market position. The stakes are high, and you need to ensure every team member knows their role and executes it flawlessly. But instead of a smooth collaboration, you’re faced with overlapping responsibilities, miscommunications, and bottlenecks. The pressure mounts as deadlines loom, and the lack of clarity threatens the project’s success. This is where the MOCHA framework can save the day, providing a clear structure for roles and responsibilities, ensuring everyone knows their part, and streamlining the path to a successful launch. This article will explore the origin of the MOCHA framework, its practical applications, limitations, and mitigation strategies, and provide actionable next steps for product managers.

A Brief History of MOCHA

The MOCHA framework was developed by The Management Center, an organization dedicated to enhancing management practices within social change organizations. MOCHA stands for Manager, Owner, Consulted, Helper, and Approver, and it builds upon the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) framework by adding more nuance and clarity to each role. Since its inception, MOCHA has been adopted across various industries due to its versatility and effectiveness in defining team roles and responsibilities.

Breaking Down MOCHA


The Manager oversees the project, ensuring it aligns with the broader organizational goals. They provide guidance, support, and resources needed for the project’s success but are not involved in day-to-day tasks.


The Owner is the person directly responsible for the project’s execution. They manage the daily activities, make key decisions, and are ultimately accountable for the project’s outcome.


The Consulted individuals are those whose input is valuable for the project. They offer expertise and advice but do not have direct decision-making authority.


Helpers assist with specific tasks or deliverables. They work under the guidance of the Owner to complete their assigned portions of the project.


The Approver has the final say on the project’s deliverables. They ensure the project meets the required standards and objectives before it is considered complete.

MOCHA in Action: Real-World Scenarios

Scenario 1: New Product Launch

  • Manager: Product Manager
  • Owner: Project Lead
  • Consulted: Marketing Expert, Legal Advisor
  • Helper: Development Team, Design Team
  • Approver: VP of Product

In this scenario, the Product Manager ensures the launch aligns with company strategy. The Project Lead handles daily tasks, coordinating with the development and design teams. The Marketing Expert and Legal Advisor provide critical input, while the VP of Product gives the final approval before launch.

Scenario 2: Feature Update

  • Manager: Senior Product Manager
  • Owner: Product Owner
  • Consulted: UX Designer, Data Analyst
  • Helper: Engineering Team
  • Approver: Chief Technology Officer

Here, the Senior Product Manager oversees the feature update’s strategic fit. The Product Owner manages execution, with the Engineering Team implementing changes. The UX Designer and Data Analyst offer insights, and the CTO approves the final update.

Limitations of MOCHA and Mitigation Strategies

While MOCHA offers clarity, it has limitations. Over-reliance on the framework can lead to rigidity, stifling creativity and adaptability. Additionally, the distinction between roles like Owner and Manager may blur in smaller teams, causing confusion.

To mitigate these issues:

  1. Flexibility: Adapt MOCHA roles to fit the team’s size and project scope.
  2. Communication: Regularly communicate roles and expectations to avoid overlaps and gaps.
  3. Review: Periodically review and adjust roles as projects evolve.

An Example of MOCHA in Practice

Consider a scenario where a company is developing a mobile app:

  • Manager: The Product Manager ensures the app development aligns with the company’s strategic goals and manages high-level risks and resource allocation.
  • Owner: The Project Lead is responsible for the day-to-day progress of the app development, coordinating tasks, and making key decisions.
  • Consulted: The UX Designer and Security Expert provide essential insights and feedback during development.
  • Helper: The development team, consisting of software engineers and QA testers, implements the app’s features and performs testing.
  • Approver: The Chief Product Officer reviews the final app to ensure it meets the company’s quality standards and strategic objectives before release.

To illustrate the given example using a sequence diagram for the MOCHA framework, we’ll outline the interactions and roles of each participant in the development of a mobile app. The participants will be represented as follows:

  • Manager (Product Manager)
  • Owner (Project Lead)
  • Consulted (UX Designer and Security Expert)
  • Helper (Development Team)
  • Approver (Chief Product Officer)

Next Steps for Product Managers

To effectively implement MOCHA, product managers should:

  1. Educate the Team: Ensure everyone understands the MOCHA framework and their specific roles.
  2. Tailor the Framework: Adapt MOCHA to fit the unique needs of each project and team.
  3. Foster Collaboration: Encourage open communication and collaboration among team members.
  4. Regular Check-ins: Conduct regular meetings to review progress and adjust roles as needed.
  5. Feedback Loop: Create a feedback mechanism to continuously improve the role assignment process.


The MOCHA framework offers a structured approach to defining roles and responsibilities within a team, enhancing clarity and efficiency in project execution. By understanding its history, practical applications, and limitations, product managers can leverage MOCHA to streamline their processes and drive successful outcomes. As with any framework, flexibility and continuous improvement are key to its effective implementation.

Thanks for reading! If you’ve got ideas to contribute to this conversation please comment. If you like what you read and want to see more, clap me some love! Follow me here, or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Do check out my latest Product Management resources 👇



Rohit Verma

Group Product Manager @AngelOne, ex-@Flipkart, @Cleartrip @IIM Bangalore.