At the 2007 IGDA Leadership Forum, Torpex Games co-founder and president Bill Dugan spoke about the relationship between development teams and external producers, and discussed the finer points of an often tricky working relationship.
Dugan surmised there may be less than 1,000 external producers in the world. Their responsibilities are being sure the game is on time, on budget, and of quality. The fundamental problem, according to Dugan, is that the external producer isn't on the actual development team.
He set up the model of two types of producers: a "1", who is very hands-off and detached -- and a "10", who is too hands-on. As Dugan pointed out, either extremity has its downside. A "1" producer's main tool to enhance quality and ensure timeliness? Prayer, says Dugan. On the other hand, a "10" producer will "crush the delicate snowflake that is the developer's soul."