The Product Owner is a member of the Agile Team who serves as the customer proxy. In this role, you are responsible for working with the Product Manager and other stakeholders to define and prioritize the product stories, thereby ensuring that the solution effectively addresses user needs while maintaining technical integrity
Developing product requirements
- With input from the Product Manager and other stakeholders, develop a consistent vision and requirements for new product features
- Translate client needs into technical requirements for a product
- Build a product roadmap of incremental improvements and iterative development
- Engage with current and future customers to understand their needs and challenges
- Work very closely with the development team in defining and growing the product, solving problems, and closely managing scope
- With input from the Product Manager and other stakeholders, the Product Owner has the primary responsibility to enhance, groom, and maintain the backlog.
Support sprint planning
- During the sprint planning meeting, the Product Owner is the main source for user story detail and priorities.
Just-in-time story elaboration
- Backlog items are elaborated into user stories for implementation. This may happen prior to the sprint, during sprint planning, or during the sprint itself. While any team member can write user stories and acceptance criteria, the Product Owner carries the primary responsibility.
Maintaining product feature baseline
- The Product Owner is the person primarily responsible for accepting stories into the product baseline. This includes validation that the story meets user acceptance criteria is true to the product vision. In so doing, the Product Owner also fulfils a quality assurance function, focusing primarily on fitness for use.
Public facing documentation
- Own the full set of public product documentation, from knowledgebase articles and white papers, to implementation guides and API specifications
- Support marketing in the development of press releases and marketing collateral
- Ability to effectively translate “business speak” into “tech speak” and vice versa in order to facilitate business requirements into technical implementations
- Clearly articulate the product value-add to internal and external stakeholders
Skills and Experience
Successful candidates for the Product Owner role will generally possess the following qualifications and experience:
- Engineering or relevant development degree/experience
- Exposure to different software product development functions (programming, UI design, QA)
- 4 – 6 years’ experience in an Agile environment
- Experience in financial services, telecommunications, or mobile industry
- Systems engineering and/or requirements management exposure (beneficial)
- Previous experience in mobile payments systems such as development of a switch, or payment channels (Point of Sale, Internet Banking, USSD)
- Domain knowledge on internet technologies and internet security
- Strong technical communication skills – being able to share the product vision and exert technical influence
- Understanding the big picture – the philosophical as well as practical aspects of what is being built
- Knowing what will work – being able to empathize with customers, their needs, their frustrations, and their wishes
- Passionate about the user experience
- Obsessed with optimizing a product to achieve the business goals