Agile Product Owner
1. Imagine you are a newly minted product owner with no team. How would you execute on your product vision?
- Hint: Depending on the organization, the vision is passed on by the business or sponsor of the project, once the vision is communicated, the Product Owner (PO) will wait on the management to provide the team to execute the project and PO will fully attain his role afterwards. Except the role of staffing is put on the PO also.
- Hint: As the PO, I am actively involved in working with the customers by constantly obtaining there feedbacks, identifying areas we can provide values and get there feedbacks to build quality products.
- Hint: Put some thoughts into the question and understand how you balance all the competing inputs: user feedback, business needs, the CEO’s pet feature, engineering favorites, time to build, cost, market needs, and so on.
- Hint: I was the PO and I worked with different stakeholders across different departments such as marketing, legal, sales, analytics team. The projects I worked on was cross-functional hence information was gotten from different departments
- Scrum is an Agile framework for completing complex projects.
- A product owner creates a prioritized wish list called a product backlog.
- During sprint planning, the team pulls a small chunk from the top of that wish list, a sprint backlog, and decides how to implement those pieces.
- The team has a certain amount of time — a sprint (usually two to four weeks) — to complete its work, but it meets each day to assess its progress (daily Scrum).
- Along the way, the ScrumMaster keeps the team focused on its goal.
- At the end of the sprint, the work should be potentially shippable: ready to hand to a customer, put on a store shelf, or show to a stakeholder.
- The sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective.
- As the next sprint begins, the team chooses another chunk of the product backlog and begins working again.
- Scrum is an Agile framework for completing complex projects
- Ensure the right thing gets build at the right time
- Provide the vision and business case
- Steer the project
- Evaluate the scope to ensure vision is met
- Prioritize continuously
- Provide good user stories with acceptance criteria
- Just in time
- Just the right level of detail
- Provide feature feedback as often as reasonable
- Be an integrated part of the team
- I have a unique blend of skills with high projects, high skills, and well-rounded based on my past training, experience to handle complex projects and I want to be part of your team to solve some of the problems
- In agile-scrum, time is key hence the iterations will be a good opportunity to let the customer know status of the project at all times, the iterations in shorter interval say 1-2 weeks, can make you communicate early demonstrable software.
10. What issues would you expect given our current level of Scrum implementation? How would you deal with them?
- At the moment the only road block are dependencies from the Legal team to review certain documents, as a result of the delay it affected and impacted our iterations. In future to avoid this, we don’t bring I the legal review user stories into iterations, until the dependencies are cleared.
- As product owner, I steer the projects toward success, help remove road block, help prioritize, constantly grooming the backlogs as needed, work on the product roadmap, vision documents.
12. What are the issues regarding scope, time, budget and priorities? What is most important? Why? When do you bring donuts to the team? Why?
- AGILE is always about change, and change to scope is always welcomed, the timing will be relevant to the iterations timing and making sure at all iterations, we deliver shippable software, PO constantly prioritizes based on the business values to the business, the budget approval will also be fully secure from the sponsors and approved in between project or before the project begins. Bringing donuts during iteration planning, retrospectives etc. to motivate and foster team chemistry.
13. Tell me about your last position — List 3 things that you loved doing and 3 things that you didn’t like doing.
- My last positions were first PO, Business Analyst and Analyst. For PO I was responsible for constantly prioritizing the deliverables, working to ensure value to the business, help with checking Return on Investment (ROI) both quantifiable and qualitative, as a BA I constantly enjoy getting business requirements, and as an analyst, I constantly help get meeting m9nutes, requirements and follow-up on pending information need for project.
14. Define really great product management. What would you look for if you were hiring a new product manager?
- I will look for someone with a strong affinity for Customers need, Product quality, great collaborator, and someone with ability to steer the project in the right direction.
15. Run me through a typical week at your last position. When did you arrive each day? What did you do? With whom did you meet?
- Typical day requires following up with daily stand up of team, revision of product backlog, follow up on all road blocks, revision of ROI document, Data analytics to check if anything as changed from the trends, marketing data review, sales data review, and ultimately update the business owner on the project as needed.
- Planning meetings, daily stand ups, stake holder meeting, retrospective meetings, demo, road block follow ups
17. Share 2 examples in which you had to lead others or advocate the cases of key stakeholders. What were those cases? What did you do?
- Stake holders wanted to have analytics for each product catalog online, the process will take time as per the development team, it was a top priority to plan and see the flow for the web traffic and mobile, as a result it could delay project, hence we had to move the analytic piece to a different team to complete so we could meet the deadline to be competitive.
- I help my team to block obstacle as much as possible, an example was a legal requirement needed for a project that delayed my project, I took it upon myself to go to the legal unit to get the documents reviewed, once I realized there will be delay to go live as a result, I recommended we added all possible legal requirement on the site and scale the unnecessary piece back once legal responded to my request of selecting the necessary one. This enables the product to be delivered in a timely manner.