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In Agile Scrum, the Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team. How this is done varies widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals. At Small Footprint, Product Owner Consultants work with our Clients to manage the Product Backlog and to drive successful development of software products.

DESCRIPTION:

  • The Product Owner “owns” the vision of the application to be built, ensuring that client business goals are met through a meaningful, practical user experience. It is the Product Owner’s responsibility to convey that vision to the Scrum team during all stages of development. This vision is communicated most tangibly through the Product Backlog where the Product Owner identifies the features, functions, and processes for the system through clear descriptions and wireframes which clarify the system's user interfaces and workflows. The effective Product Owner continually applies strategies to facilitate communication and collaboration within and across the development team and the product's stakeholders.

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES:

Client Proxy

  • The Product Owner acts as a proxy for the Client representing the Client's business values, goals, and objectives to the team.
  • The Product Owner leads the development effort by conveying his or her vision to the team and clearly defining work in the Product Backlog.
  • The Product Owner defines Acceptance Criteria for User Stories to provide validation parameters for the development team.

Key Communicator

  • The Product Owner drives a project by communicating directly with the team, while visually demonstrating prioritization decisions in the backlog. The Product Owner does this by writing Epic and User Story descriptions and leveraging wireframes which further clarify the application user interface. The Product Owner remains available to the team to answer questions and deliver direction. Because the Product Owner best understands the vision of the product, he or she must remain highly accessible to the development team to clarify acceptance criteria and to articulate customer desires.
  • The Product Owner does not micromanage. Agile Scrum values self-organization and, as a result, the Product Owner respects the team’s ability to create its own plan for completing Sprint goals.
  • The Product Owner encourages the development teams to report and overcome any impediments or Blockers to ensure that prioritized work can be completed within the expected timeframe, budget, and feature expectations.

Development Leader

  • The Product Owner prioritizes work based on Business Value; therefore the Product Owner must understand how Business Value will be generated by the features and functions of the product.
  • The Product Owner negotiates work with the team. At the beginning of each Sprint, the team and the Product Owner meet to determine what work will be done for the Sprint.
  • The Product Owner respects the team’s established Velocity, but works with them continually to improve it.
  • The Product Owner works to stabilize Sprints, minimizing changes to the team workload once the Sprint has begun by appropriately coordinating changes only through Sprint Planning ceremonies.
  • The Product Owner makes tough decisions. As the single person responsible for the success or failure of the project, he or she must have the confidence to make decisions that are best for the business.

SKILLS:

As the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog, the Product Owner Consultant must be able to perform the following skills:

  • Attain Domain Knowledge - The Product Owner Consultant must quickly learn to understand the Client’s product goals and why these are the goals, and then translate that knowledge to others.
  • Display Visionary Leadership - The Product Owner Consultant needs to be able to see beyond the next sprint, presenting a vision to guide the team to success and justify the backlog and future goals.
  • Highly knowledgeable of Agile and Scrum - The Product Owner Consultant must have a clear understanding of the agile principles and how scrum is used to execute, and how it differs from other traditional roles like the Project Manager, Product Manager, and Business Analyst.
  • Exceptional ability to communicate, collaborate, and negotiate - The Product Owner Consultant must be able to write, listen, report, and present exceptionally well to communicate the vision and collaborate with many stakeholders in order to build and refine it to the team as well as outside stakeholders.
  • Courage - The Product Owner Consultant needs to be able to step up and make decisions, being able to say NO and justify that with facts and reasoning.
  • Analytical - Product Owner Consultant must be able to analyze data and use it to show facts and make decisions.
  • Technical skills - Product Owner Consultant needs to understand basic software technology and how it works to be able to communicate at the architectural vision level, but not need to be able to implement technology themselves.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum 2 years’ experience managing software projects as Product Owner and 5 years of business world experience.
  • Understanding of Agile software development best practices and leading methodologies, preferably Scrum, preferably with a CSPO certification.
  • Excellent facilitation skills for information gathering and determining client business requirements.
  • Ability to assess client’s requirements and translate into / create functional requirements.
  • Strong analytical skills and problem solving mindset.
  • Self-confidence and experience in a consultative, client-facing role, making group presentations and overall strong communication skills.
  • Highly enthusiastic, positive-minded, customer focused, service-orientated.
  • Quick learner and self-starter with ability to work independently.
  • Bachelor's or Master’s degree.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

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