February 22, 2019 // By John Doucette
There’s no arguing about it: Digital transformation is driven by the customer. The world is changing, the marketplace is evolving, and companies are struggling to keep up with the fast pace. If your software is suffering, the first place to look is your product owner.
The Role of the PO
The product owner has never been more important as companies are looking for answers to sputters and stalls in their project line. With users expecting delightful software experiences at every turn and having the ability to give feedback on their experience in real time, it’s clear it’s no longer just a business’s products and services driving the customer interaction: it’s technology.
This now forces the product owner to think about what and why they are building this customer expereince, and work with the development team to plan on how to implement the desired outcomes, while closing the loop with users to refine and adapt. Treating solutions as products requires a product management system in place to ensure collaboration, conversation, and alignment on goals and vision from the very beginning.
Collecting Proper Fuel
The right story at the right time represents the “fuel” the team needs to keep the development engine running. This doesn’t work if the product owner isn’t empowered to exercise their skills, which is currently the largest gap in the industry. The skills are usually there, but the constraints of the business pressure overcome responsibilities. Keeping an eye on the road and budget, staying on top of this work and guiding with confidence means the developers will fire on all cylinders and go fast.
The Player/Coach Model
This is a dedicated role who partners with the product owner and has their back when the PO doesn’t have the bandwidth day-to-day. The idea is to transition the player/coach to fulltime coach and ultimately leave the PO with the time management skills they need to balance the day job and be a reliable member within their Agile team. Magenic has executed this model with a variety of organizations on all levels and have left product owners with a fresh, empowered outlook on how they can lead their teams to get to the market faster.
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