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Build a Better Product Owner

Strengthen the product owner role in your organization by focusing on core capabilities and proper alignment.

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Contributors

  • Mark Pearson, Principal IT Architect, First Data Corporation
  • Angela Weller, Sr. Agile Business Analyst/Product Owner, CO-OP Financial Services
  • Charlie Campbell, Product Owner, Merchant e-Solutions
  • Brenda Peshak, Product Owner, Widget Industries, LLC
  • Hoi Kun Lo, Product Owner, Nielsen
  • Kathy Borneman, Digital Product Owner, SunTrust Bank
  • 18 individuals completed an online Pulse Survey

Your Challenge

  • Product owners must bridge the gap between the business and delivery to ensure products continuously deliver value.
  • Product owners are assigned to support projects or product delivery without proper support, guidance, or alignment.
  • In many organizations, the product owner is not a well-defined role, and individuals placed in these roles lack key skills and support needed.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Product ownership and service ownership share the same foundation. The capabilities and best practices are identical for both roles. Use the term that makes the most sense for your culture.
  • Product owners are operating under an incomplete understanding of capabilities needed to succeed. Most product/service owners lack a complete picture of the needed capabilities, skills, and activities to successfully perform their role.
  • Product ownership should be scaled to match operations. Tier product/service owners to match your product/service hierarchy, not organizational hierarchies.

Impact and Result

  • Understand the types of product owners and how to scale product ownership to align to your operational structure and product needs.
  • Leverage the product owner capability map to better define the role and provide a development path for product owners.
  • Define the impact of cultural factors to the success of product owners, and develop strategies to improve your transformation to product ownership and dedicated product owners.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should improve product owner capabilities and alignment, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the three ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Product owner foundations

Understand capabilities, gaps, perspectives, stakeholder management, and how to customize roadmaps to improve the value delivered by your product owners.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

Call #1 - Understand product owner capabilities and gaps.
Call #2 - Understand types of product owners.
Call #3 - Customize roadmaps to the focus of each product owner.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Understand Product Ownership

The Purpose

  • Develop a common definition and understanding of product owners.
  • Identify missing and underutilized product owner capabilities.
  • Ensure product and project milestones are managed by the right role.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Definition of product ownership and product owners tailored to your culture and organizational needs.
  • Differentiate between project and product ownership.
  • Understand the capabilities needed for successful product ownership.
  • Avoid common product owner mistakes and gaps.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Reveal team risks and opportunities with a SWOT analysis.

  • Product owner SWOT analysis.
1.2

Define products in your context.

  • Products definition and model.
1.3

Map owners to your products/services.

  • Map owners to your products/services.
1.4

Align milestones to team roles.

  • Milestone/Role mapping.
1.5

Define the capabilities needed for successful product ownership.

  • List of capabilities needed for successful product ownership.
1.6

Develop a plan to address the capabilities needed for successful product ownership.

  • Product owner capability roadmap.

Module 2: Define Product Owner Roles

The Purpose

  • Understand and implement tiered product ownership.
  • Determine how to map technical and operational product owners.
  • Review how to scale product ownership to align with enterprise strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Tiered product owner model and mapping.
  • Classification of product owner roles.
  • Alignment of product owners to enterprise strategy.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Identify product owner perspectives.

  • Categorized product owner perspectives.
2.2

Map project roles to product owner responsibilities.

  • Product owner input/output mapping to project team roles.
2.3

Provide role clarity for product owners.

  • Product owner capability assessment and role limits.
2.4

Define the characteristics of your product owner roadmap.

  • Product owner roadmap approach customized to each perspective.

Module 3: Implement Product Owners

The Purpose

  • Develop a stakeholder assessment and mapping for product owner roles.
  • Develop techniques and strategies for managing stakeholders.
  • Create a product owner transformation roadmap to implement changes identified during activities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Stakeholder engagement strategy mapped to product owners.
  • Strategies and techniques for working with stakeholders.
  • Roadmap for implementing and enhancing product owners.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Visualize interrelationships among stakeholders to identify key influencers.

  • Stakeholder map.
3.2

Group your stakeholders into categories.

  • Stakeholder categorization.
3.3

Prioritize your stakeholders.

  • Stakeholder prioritization.
3.4

Delegation Poker – different approaches to reach decisions with stakeholders.

  • Understanding of Delegation Poker approaches to decision making.
3.5

Align product owner changes to your transformation roadmap.

  • Product owner transformation roadmap.

Member Testimonials

Schedule Analyst Call

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Owens Corning

Workshop

8/10

$33,091

20