In this video tutorial Angela shares what a successful product owner mindset is and tips to develop a product owner mindset. She looks at three pillars of product ownership that create an agile product owner mindset: value, decision making, and engagement. She discusses each of these and how they contribute to successful product ownership and agile team success.
- Successful product owners have a mindset that guides the team to create innovative and amazing products and features. Their unique approach is critical to the team's delivery of valuable software. This mindset can be summarized in the three pillars of product ownership, value, decision making, and engagement. Let's look at each of these. First and foremost, product owners must be very concerned about value at every step. Value is all about how to best spend the organization's money.
It's about being responsible with priorities and how robust each feature needs to be. I like to think about value in terms of spending the organization's money like it's my own. For example, on a home remodel project, as the home owner, I'm the product owner. I care deeply about how my money is spent. My ideas on what's valuable are likely different than other home owners. The designers and builders can't read my mind, but I don't know all the options either.
I need to work with them regularly to explain what is valuable to me and listen to options and alternatives that they present. I am constantly weighing cost and time with what is valuable to me. The second pillar is decision making. Great product owners understand flow and how it keeps the team focused and moving at a good pace. Most teams need a great product owner making decisions to keep the necessary cadence and flow.
Again, let's look at a home remodel. The longer it takes, the more you might be paying the designer and product manager, right? So, if I stall making decisions, they're idle, or might have to do rework on some parts of the house. Similar for our projects, if decision making is slow, the team might not progress as quickly and the features and product might cost more. Again, we're back to the notion of spending money like it's your own. The third pillar is engagement.
Product owners need to be engaged in order to ensure the team is focused on what value means for the product. This comes at every level of detail and every step of the way to ensure the product is not over or under engineered. This means being present for the team and being available to listen, share context regarding the product, and make timely decisions. In the remodel example, if I'm not engaged in what the team is doing everyday, I could slow down decisions, and the team may make assumptions about what's valuable to me, often the wrong assumptions.
We know others can't read our minds, right? The mindset of a product owner may be more important than any other tactical skills when it comes to mitigating bad assumptions. Remember the three pillars, value, decision making, and engagement, and you'll have the right mindset.
- The goals, background, and mindset of a product owner
- Product ownership as a team
- Understanding product requirements in Agile
- Defining a valuable product
- Analyzing a product roadmap
- Defining a backlog
- Creating an agile release plan
- Setting your expectations as an agile product owner