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A day in the life of the Product Owner: How does it look like?

Published on 13th July 2020

This article was published (and inspired) on Adam by Jenny Woods. This is a kind of professional motivation for all next Product Owners.

 

If you thought Product Owners simply had to deliver an app or some other digital platform, think again.

Beyond delivering the product itself, the role is responsible for helping the businesses achieve maturity by delivering products that will help existing customers and/or attract new customers in line with business goals.

Depending on the nature of the product, the Product Owner could be from marketing or another area of the business. They will have a solid understanding of users, the market place, the competition, and future trends for the type of system being developed.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s see how a typical day stacks up for a Product Owner:

 

9am – Start With a Standup Meeting

Most digital apps are developed using the Agile that breaks product development down into intensive work periods called sprints. Each day kicks off with a standup meeting (or scrum) that sets the direction of travel.

Each team member should ask and answer three questions:

  1. What did I do yesterday?
  2. What will I do today?
  3. What is impeding me?

As a lead user of the system, the Product Owner ensures the team is on track to deliver the vision and that any blockers are resolved in line with the end-goal.

 

9.30am – Update the Product Backlog

A major part of the Product Owner role is creating and maintaining the product backlog. This is a list of all the tasks required to bring the product to fruition and it’s likely that the Product Owner will continuously update it throughout the day.

Each item on the list needs to be prioritized and sequenced before the team sprint meeting to ensure the most effective use of time and resources.

A sound understanding of business values is also required to be able to do this as each task should be ordered on the basis of its value to the business and its ROI.

Although the Product Owner prioritizes the work, he/she lets the team decide how much work they think they can do during each sprint and the number of sprints that will be required. The Product Owner must motivate the team with a clear, elevating goal and the decision making to remove impediments.

 

10.30 – 11.30am – Sidebar with Developers to Clarify Their Activity

Any emerging issues from the team need to be resolved by developers. Often the Product Owner is called into side meetings to discuss problems and help them to be resolved.

This could mean clarifying a particular feature and its intended use so developers can take the right steps to deliver the app as set out in the Product Owner’s vision.

As the project champion, the Product Owner must be sufficiently business savvy to ensure the product contains the right features that work in the right way. This relies on a solid understanding of the customer and business.

 

Midday – Update the Product Backlog

With a two o’clock meeting with the big boss in the diary, a Product Owner needs to know exactly where the sprint is up to. Keeping on top of the product backlog is the best way of clarifying this.

 

2pm – Meet with Business Owner to Discuss Next Release

Product Owners need to ensure they are available to everyone who needs to talk to them. This includes everyone in the sprint team to key stakeholders throughout the organization and beyond.

As the name suggests, agile development doesn’t stand still so although a Product Owner might be trying to close out one sprint, they’ll have stakeholders with their eyes on the horizon, seeking the next product release.

Being able to take the long view as well as keeping hold of the detail is central to this role. This could mean having a 20 minute sit-down with the business owner to discuss what’s needed next.

New releases are a typical topic of discussion and the Product Owner will need to provide technical information in an understandable way.

Stakeholders may want to see later stages of the job brought forwards or they may want changes to be made. In this case, the Product Owner will need to be up-to-date with the project’s status to know what is and is not possible in the next sprint before making any commitments.

 

3pm – Work on the Product Backlog for the Next Sprint

Following the meeting with the business owner, it’s time to commit future sprint changes to paper and put plans in place to make sure you have the resources you need.

 

4pm – Team Member Swarm to Discuss Testing Results

The Product Owner will often be invited to a team meeting focussed on test results as the product goes through the development cycle. Any hitches will be flagged and the Product Owner will need to make a call on what to do next.

Minor issues could be turned around quickly whereas larger problems might need to be shifted to the next sprint.

 

It’s the role of the Product Owner to take a strategic, high-level overview while understanding and being able to take decisions on detailed decisions like product design.

 

Tell us, how’s your typical working day look like? And, don’t forget on…

new online Certified Product Owner Course with Miljan Bajić:

Product Owner (20th – 23rd July)

 

 

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Email
scrum@puzzlesoftware.rs