Product Owner Panel Thoughts

On April 17th Centare hosted a Product Owner panel as an opportunity to share some insight and experiences we’ve accumulated over the years. I asked each of the Product Owners who participated to share some of their thoughts about the experience.

Beth Jagodinsky

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I really enjoyed being part of the Product Owner panel last week. The questions from the audience and ones that were submitted in advance were all situations or techniques that I’ve had to use in my daily life. It is incredibly beneficial and encouraging to share stories of triumphs and challenges product owners face in their role. You never know when you might find yourself in a similar scenario and can draw from others' experiences to move forward and succeed. I especially liked the discussion around having different styles but still being effective in your role. There are so many ways to communicate and work as part of a team and by sharing techniques you really gain more knowledge to improve. I’d love the opportunity to dig into more questions from audience members and give solid takeaways they can use in their organization and on their teams.

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Cat Fiscus

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I appreciated the questions that the attendees raised in preparation for the panel as they provided me an opportunity to reflect on the mechanisms I utilize to successfully complete a project to build or enhance a product. While the scrum framework is lightweight and a priori feels simple to follow, it is much harder in practice. Unlike other scrum team members, Product Owners rarely have the opportunity to learn from each other due to the nature of the team structure (where there is only a single PO). The PO Panel was an excellent opportunity to hear areas where other Product Owners struggle or were open to hearing another perspective on how to tackle a situation. I find the biggest growth I’ve had as a Product Owner has come from identifying situations where I can learn from others’ ideas, strengths, and past experiences. I loved hearing the great questions raised and also getting the perspectives of two fellow Product Owners for whom I have an enormous amount of respect.

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Ryan Finco

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I really enjoyed being part of the PO panel discussion. The role of the Product Owner is a complex one, full of nuance and interpretation, with many different facets that need to be understood in order for a person to be truly effective. With that said, it also means that the answers given are at times as complex as the question asked. The PO panel allowed for this complexity to come forward in an organic, healthy way specific to real world questions that face us in our day-to-day lives as members of product teams and program development efforts. I would welcome another chance to explore questions from a myriad of industries and cultures, and to provide where I can, techniques and mechanisms to allow people to further enhance their teams, their companies, and themselves. The styles change, the mechanisms change, the framework changes but the core elements of professional product ownership have a commonality to them that can be shared, and I thank the audience and the other panel members for bringing this to the forefront of the discussion.

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Jeff Maleski

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I had the privilege to moderate the event. At the beginning I went through a quick slide deck to introduce Centare to those who may not be familiar with us, talk about the Scrum guide definition of the Product Owner, and lastly to segue into how we often adapt numerous typical roles (Project Manager, Program Manager, etc.) being a consultant as Product Owner. My big regret here was that I came across very rushed in the introduction piece. In my mind, I wanted to leave as much room for the actual panel discussion as possible, and thus flew through my portion post haste. However, it was awesome to come prepared with about 15 questions already pooled from attendees and only be able to make it through about 6 of them. We had so much conversation and additional questions that came up naturally throughout the morning. Our biggest piece of feedback that we got was that we should have accounted for even more time.

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