As a Product Owner (PO) you are the member of the Agile Team responsible for defining Stories and prioritising the Team Backlog to streamline the execution of program priorities while maintaining the conceptual and technical integrity of the Features or components for the team.
The PO has a significant role in quality control and is the only team member empowered to accept stories as done. For most enterprises moving to Agile, this is a new and critical role, typically translating into a full-time job, requiring one PO to support each Agile team (or, at most, two teams).
The PO is the member of the Agile team who serves as the Customer proxy responsible for working with Product Management and other stakeholders—including other POs—to define and prioritise stories in the team backlog. This allows the Solution to effectively address program priorities (features and enablers) while maintaining technical integrity.
- As a member of the extended Product Management team, the PO is heavily involved in program backlog refinement and also plays a significant role in portfolio planning. On a regular basis the PO updates the team backlog and typically reviews and contributes to the program vision, roadmap, and content presentations.
- Maintaining the team backlog – With input from System Architect / Engineering and other stakeholders, the PO has the primary responsibility for building, editing, and maintaining the team backlog. Consisting mostly of user stories, it also includes defects and enablers. Backlog items are prioritised based on user value, time, and other team dependencies.
- Just-in-time story elaboration – Most backlog items are elaborated into user stories for implementation. While any team member can write stories and acceptance criteria, the PO has the primary responsibility for maintaining the flow.
- Accepting stories – The PO is the only team member who can accept stories as done. This includes validation that the story meets the acceptance criteria and has the appropriate, persistent acceptance tests, and that it otherwise complies its Definition of Done (DoD). In so doing, the PO also assures a level of quality, focusing primarily on fitness for use.
- Understand enabler work – While POs are not expected to drive technological decisions, they are supposed to understand the scope of the upcoming enabler work and to collaborate with System and Solution Architect / Engineering to assist with decision-making and sequencing of the critical technological infrastructures that will host the new business functionality.
- Drive system demos and retrospectives – As the person responsible for requirements, POs have an essential role in the team demo, reviewing and accepting stories.
- The PO works across teams to define and implement improvement stories that will increase the velocity and quality of larger Coherent programs.
What You Need to Know
- 2 or more years of technical product management / product owner experience at either for start-ups, tech companies or financial services companies.
- Ability to work with clients to understand detailed requirements, put them in the context of overall product vision and create compelling user stories that connect the two.
- Experience with Agile development techniques. Ability to iterate designs and solutions efficiently and intelligently.
- Ability to specify effective test cases and acceptance criteria the will guide development teams.
- Ability to clearly and effectively communicate design processes, ideas, and solutions to teams and clients.
- Be passionate about great product design wherever you see it – learning from each opportunity to make things better.
- Research and showcase knowledge in the industry’s latest trends and technologies.
- Be open to receiving feedback and constructive criticism.
- Development experience would be an asset but is not critical.