By:Elizabeth Ojile Posted On: Topic:Product Management

Product owners: Behind the velvet rope

It’s no secret that as a company, Devbridge Group has experienced a large amount of growth year over year.  We are winning and solving more complex projects than years past and are seeing growth across the organization, monthly. To effectively scale, it was imperative to build out a Product Owner team, which was born in December 2013.  

To date, our department has doubled in size. But we’ve found that, at times, the role we as Product Owners play is not clear. At Devbridge, Product Owners are the main point of contact between our clients and our various internal teams. To say that we wear a variety of hats is really an understatement. Our role requires interaction with developers, designers, marketing, sales, leadership and most importantly, the client, to address a variety of complex business needs. What’s more, we keep projects moving forward. To ensure a project’s success and client satisfaction, collaboration in all of these areas is key.

Adding new members to the Product Owner group has allowed us to improve not only our collaboration with the various teams, but also to strategize our approach among our own team on a daily basis.  Our ability to make these improvements stem from the fact that each member of the team brings a different level of experience, background and approach to any given situation. We are constantly identifying challenges and roadblocks, discussing solutions to address issues, asking “why?”, and brainstorming best practices.  You see, the lifecycle of each project consists of sales, requirement gathering, project implementation, launch, and support. Within the recent months, we have looked at each stage and asked “How can we make this better? What went well? Where did we drop the ball and how can we improve?” By asking these questions and being empowered to make necessary changes, we are facing issues head on and course correcting. While this might not seem relevant to a client’s complex project, internally strategizing on all of these areas ensures a better client engagement with Devbridge and makes our company’s growth possible.

At Devbridge the bar is set high and we are constantly challenged to keep raising it.  As an organization that uses Agile, things are constantly changing and evolving. Using the agile methodology, Product Owners and developers are able to take a large complex project and break it up into smaller deliverables. We iterate through each deliverable, provide the client with a tangible product and allow for changes that will best meet the needs of the business. Change is the one constant in our role, and our ability to adapt to this change is the foundation of what we do. We strive to provide value to our clients by advocating for their needs while delivering the best user experience and technology in every project we own.

As Product Owners, we don’t always have all the answers. But what we do have is the commitment and dedication to figure anything out. We are skilled communicators and problem solvers. We rely heavily on each other and the variety of strengths each member of our team brings to the table. It is a challenging role, but in the end, we are able to looking back on each project we own and say “I brought this to life." 

Elizabeth Ojile

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