Recently our company adopted SAFe agile framework for our BU. I was asked to take the Product Owner role. Apart from my People Management job, I have to take care of this role. Some changes I observed:
Before PO role:
- I was doing coding
- I was doing code reviews
- I was participating in Design discussions
- I was identifying the list of task to do to deliver a component.
- I was assigning the tasks to the team.
- I was taking the ownership of some of the tasks depending on the urgency and delivery times.
- I was mentoring the team members on technology and career related areas.
- I was spending time with team to debug the issue. I enjoyed it the most. This was my core competency.
- I was managing people (I have five people reporting to me)
With PO role:
- Understand the PM User stories and discuss with System Architect.
- I am identifying the User Stories for the scrum team.
- I am writing a clearly defined Acceptance Criteria (This is the timing consuming task, This is the key for product success.). This is the critical job.
- I am discussing with team on defined User stories and split them into small user stories.
- I am answering team’s question related to the User story. (Mainly the “What” part, Some “How” part as well). I need to know the How part in some user stories, For example, the communication between two components. I should not care about HTTP/GRPC/S3. If team chooses a User story to go with a S3, I need to have domain knowledge to address the AC.
- I am attending the Ceremonies, Backlog grooming, Sprint Planning, Design discussions, Sprint Reviews.
I see there is need for seperate PM and PO roles. Some of the task sharing between these two roles are:
|Product manager||Tracks the overall market and competitive dynamics.|
|Product manager||Manages the long term roadmap, involving sales, marketing, implementations, clients, prospects, partners, and other groups. The ideas are expressed as epics.|
|Product manager||Attends iteration demos and some stand-ups.|
|Product manager||Supports other non-technical organizations (such as sales, marketing, and channel).|
|Product owner||Leads requirements gathering effort on the epics as needed — consulting with product management, implementations, clients, and other stakeholders.|
|Product owner||Documents story details based on the epics and after review with development.|
|Product owner||Attends scrum meetings including standups, retrospectives, and demos.|
|Product owner||Leads backlog grooming to decompose/estimate stories.|
|Product owner||Creates mockups and works with UX on design.|
|Product owner||Answer questions from developers, clarifies requirements, etc.|
|Product owner||Documents the new feature for implementations and release notes.|
|Both||Write acceptance criteria.|
|Both||Demonstrate latest iteration to customers (pre-release) and gathers feedback.|