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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

  • There is no “one size fits all” model for assigning and organizing product owners. Product owners must be aligned to ensure product capabilities and enhancements are aligned to enterprise goals and strategies at each level.
  • 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.

2. Scale product ownership

Define how product owners fit together into families. Scaling product owners and product managers ensures that product capabilities and priorities are aligned to enterprise strategy and goals.

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

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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: Establish Product Owners

The Purpose

  • This step assigns product owners to your product model and defines the primary, defines supporting product owner perspectives, and aligns milestone ownership.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Product owner mapping
  • Product owner perspective matrix
  • Milestone responsibility matrix

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Map owners to your products

  • Product owner mapping
1.2

Map product owner perspectives

  • Product owner perspective matrix
1.3

Assign milestones to team roles

  • Milestone responsibility matrix

Module 2: Define Product Owner Capabilities

The Purpose

Product owners operate from a common capability model. This step will help product owners understand the four facets of product ownership and identify the key capabilities needed for their product.

Key Benefits Achieved

Product owner capability mapping

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Define product ownership capabilities

  • Product owner capability mapping

Module 3: Manage Stakeholder Influence

The Purpose

  • Product owner capability mapping

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Relationships among stakeholders and influencers
  • Categorization of stakeholders and influencers
  • Stakeholder and influencer prioritization
  • Better understanding of decision-making approaches and delegation

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Visualize interrelationships to identify key influencers

  • Relationships among stakeholders and influencers
3.2

Group your product owners into categories

  • Categorization of stakeholders and influencers
3.3

Prioritize your stakeholders

  • Stakeholder and influencer prioritization
3.4

Delegation poker: reach better decisions

  • Better understanding of decision-making approaches and delegation

Module 4: Define Your Product Owner Scaling Principles and Model

The Purpose

  • Relationships among stakeholders and influencers
  • Categorization of stakeholders and influencers
  • Stakeholder and influencer prioritization
  • Better understanding of decision-making approaches and delegation

Key Benefits Achieved

  • List of product owner scaling principles
  • Product owner hierarchy model with product owners defined

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Define your product owner scaling principles

  • List of product owner scaling principles
4.2

Customize your model for scaling product owners

  • Product owner hierarchy model with product owners defined

Module 5: Define Product Owners for Shared Service Products

The Purpose

  • This step will help shared service product owners define a network map and strategy for managing demand from product owners who consume their product.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Product owner mapping for shared products and services
  • Product owner categorization
  • Product owner prioritization strategy

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Map dependent product owner relationships

  • Product owner mapping for shared products and services
5.2

Group your product owners into categories

  • Product owner categorization
5.3

Prioritize your product owners

  • Product owner prioritization strategy

Module 6: Develop Your Product Owner Vision

The Purpose

This step will help product owners align their roadmap and backlog strategy to match the level of their product or product family.

Key Benefits Achieved

Product roadmap strategy

Activities

Outputs

6.1

Define roadmap and backlog approach

  • Product roadmap strategy

Member Testimonials

Unlock Sample Research

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

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