Product Owner at work

The Product Owner is a critical component of any agile/scrum project. I am a Scrum Product Owner Certified (SPOC) and I have written hundreds of User Stories and Technical Specifications.

The user stories need to be consistent, and accurately reflect the user’s experience using the system or product. A good Product Owner can put themselves into the mindset of the user, and understand what they want. They can augment this approach by maintaining communication with a group of end users. This approach applies to cars, halloween costumes or software.

At  one time I was working with a team of developers, and the  end users were beyond not being tech savvy, they were tech adverse.  The nature of their job was very stressful, and they found the system overwhelming.  We did a brainstorming session with users and developers and found that they were overwhelmed by the amount of information on a screen.  So by using their feedback we were able to make the data entry more segmented and wizard based. More importantly, the users were able to tell us what information was important.  We added quick navigation links at various points so they could access different sections and quick pop-ups to show  information they have already entered.

One of the key responsibilities of a Product Owner is maintaining the backlog. However, not only should a good product owner manage the backlog, but they need to prioritize this list as well. In order to do this, the Product Owner needs to have a good understanding of what the customer wants.

In addition, I have written over three thousand pages of training materials, and that’s not even counting the dozens of training videos. If the Product Owner is the voice of the customer, you need to find one that speaks well.