If you read this blog regularly you may have noticed that I talk about “jobs to be done” a fair amount. This is a concept our firm uses in analyzing the products we make and the markets we serve. You can read lots about this idea in books and blogs and learn about it in courses and conferences, and I plan to continue sharing my thoughts and experiences in future blog posts.
For this current post I want to talk about 10 specific jobs to be done, namely the top ten responsibilities of an effective product owner. As I mentioned last week, this set of posts will revisit and update a series of blog entries I wrote several years ago on this topic. Here are the ten things I will be writing about in the coming weeks:
1. Talk with Product Manager
2. Tell stories
3. Tend the backlog
4. Supply subject matter expertise to development team
5. Work with testers
6. Talk with the designer, lead coder and tester about what’s coming up
7. Be available and listening
8. Talk about trade-offs
9. Protect the team from distractions
10. Know the product intimately
There are certainly other things that product owners are called upon to do, and this set of items is shaped by the way the role of product owner functions in the company where I work; but I think this set of jobs summarizes well the core of what it takes to be a strong product owner. I hope if you see gaps or flaws in my thinking you will let me know. I’ll be posting about this over the next 10 weeks so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to share your responses. As always, thanks for taking the time to read and reflect on what I share and I hope you find it helpful.