Product Owners   Leave a comment

Most software development company owners under estimates their real capacity of becoming a product owner. If you have ever tried to learn SCRUM or Agile Process, the word ‘Product Owner’ must have trilled you and should have imagined being one.

The charm of being the ‘one’ who can bring a product into the market and become a ‘Steve Jobs’ is irresistible. But beware, it’s not as simple as it seems. The selection of features of a product rests on the product owner’s shoulders. They decide what should be there in the package that will trill the customers and will become the ‘break’.

If you think of a product there will hundred features that might come into your mind. Of which, only a few will be unique, others may be a list of standard things ‘others’ are already offering. Only the unique features will bring you the real money and tear the customers from ‘others’.

Who will be the successful product owners?

  • Only those who picks the most expected unique feature and builds it into the product at the right time
  • Those who makes the unique feature a standard

 All products might have not originally imagined as a ‘product’, they eventually become one. A custom system to a product transformation can occur in many ways;

  • A repeated requests for similar system by different prospects
  • A 3rd party observation and takeover of an under development system
  • A managers discovery

Are few of them, in all these cases the transformation may have brought many challenges to the company including a risk of being thrown away from market.

An under development system brings in opportunities but makes the product owners work a more challenging one. Since;

  • The team involved in the development might be over prioritizing  the features
  • The eventual product owner might have ‘got interested’ in a very few features and the system usually will be bigger
  • The listed features might be in different stages of development and a complete build will be in a near future
  • Identifying the standard and unique features will not be easy and will involve huge market research

(This list is non exhaustive but lists all major ones.)

Coming back to the initial ‘disappointment note’, the inherent failure from the company management or the team to identify such product opportunities brings great loss to revenue and possibly a detachment from potential market. The management usually are skeptic about such possibilities since there will be a lack of intelligence within them. Development teams and their mangers might know the power of the system, but may be reluctant to uncover them, most probably because of the fear of failure or effective increase in responsibilities regarding the project.

To conclude, it’s the power of the higher management to identify and push the product opportunities and bring in the best product owner(s) to lacerate most out of the target market.

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Posted October 23, 2011 by jsusmer in mind waves

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