Agile · Change Management · Communication · Product management

Down in the weeds

As our company dives into a period of busyness and growth we are accelerating development of a new module on one of our core products.  Moving this forward will involve me as Product owner wearing several hats (read more about what these different hats are here).  Here are some of the key things I will be doing:

  1. Provide subject matter expertise. Whether through my own knowledge of the product and the market needs or through gathering this information from other experts on our wider team, the development team will be looking to me to feed them with the information they need to design and build this new module.
  2. Groom the backlog. I need to make sure that the team knows the priority and inter-relationships of the tasks and user stories to complete development of the new module and to keep them focused on the critical path to developing the minimum viable product in time for our anticipated launch.
  3. Work with the test team. Both for building out regression testing (for pre-commit and post-commit scenarios) and for ensuring that the business requirements are captured in the test plans, I need to work closely with our testers to make sure they know what to test for and that we review functionality as it is being built both on our team and with the business users.
  4. Partner with the sales and marketing team. I need to make sure the sale and marketing teams are aware of our progress and getting the word out to relevant prospects so that the new module launches well.
  5. Communicate with the product manager. I have to make sure we are on the same page about what is being worked on when, what if any roadblocks the team is encountering, and how to balance our aggressive focus on this new module with other development items and the need for continual code refactoring.

Balancing these five responsibilities on this specific project along with the other parts of my job will keep me very busy over the next few months.  Many of these tactical endeavors will pull me out of the wider strategic areas that I also enjoy focusing on, but they are key elements of the role of product owner.  Staying on top of all these pieces of my job will be a challenge in the months to come because in truth it’s not that simple.

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