Product Ownership Practice

Building the right product

Product Ownership Practice

Our Vision

The Product Ownership Practice enables engagement, success and customer satisfaction through the application of good product ownership principles, the facilitation of valuable interactions between customers and teams and the nurturing of positive customer relationships. 

Product Owners

Acts on behalf of the client and are responsible for ensuring that the product delivered meets the client's needs and business objectives

  • Help with product strategy and roadmaps
  • Identify business value
  • Align business objectives with customer needs
  • Assist with defining and communicating product vision
  • Set expectations and maintain focus on priorities

Product Foundation Workshops

  • Allows for assumption validation and to identify “the right” product
  • Informs future delivery engagements

Pre-Sales Consulting and Pre-Sales Product Assessments 

  • Identify client need
  • Propose service offering/approach
  • Identify “the right” product for the need and deliverables

Agile Business Analysts

Assist Product Owner by ensuring all product ownership tasks are completed

  • Conduct appropriate upfront research and analysis
  • Facilitate story writing
  • Ensure team's backlog is adequately refined

Functional Decomposition

  • Identify current system landscape and functionality

Process Flow Mapping and Gap Analysis 

  • Map out and analyze business processes to ensure understanding of current state 
  • Identify gaps (SWOT) in systems, process, strategies, etc.

Benefits to Engaging with Product Ownership

When working with Product Ownership through the various activities described, the following results are achievable:

  • Intimate understanding of the business and the problem they are working to solve.
  • Comprehensive insight into the needs of the customers and users of the solution to be developed.
  • Decisive leadership that knows what is going to deliver the best value to the business while ensuring good quality decisions in the best interests of customers.
  • Close engagement with delivery teams, while also ensuring that these team members are working on the customer's agreed highest priority items during each iteration.
  • Assurance that the product backlog is visible and clear to everyone, so that progress and next priorities are transparent and understood by all involved.

Ultimately, this all leads to building the right product.

Process Mapping

A process map, or flow chart, is a visual representation of a process that can illustrate:

  • What activities are completed, by whom, in what sequence.
  • Hand-offs between departments or individuals.
  • Internal and external operational boundaries (swim lanes).

Well-executed process mapping provides a process map that:

  • Communicates process-related ideas, information and data in an effective visual form.
  • Identifies actual or ideal paths, revealing problem areas of risk and potential solutions.
  • Breaks a process down into steps using consistent, easily understood symbols.
Process Mapping
Process Mapping Example

Story Mapping

  • Story maps can help discover requirements from a user experience point of view. (Story Mapping, Jeff Patton)
  • Story Mapping is an effective way to visualize, communicate and collaborate on scope & related priorities thus ensuring alignment with the client and the internal team.
  • The challenges presented by traditional backlogs is they do not convey any notion of workflow. This makes it difficult to recognize if any gaps exist. Also, we lose business context when trying to prioritize all the smaller stories against each other.
  • The process of creating a Story Map is a collaborative exercise with stakeholders.
Story Mapping
Story Map Example

Product Roadmaps

Each successful product has a roadmap.

  • Forces deep thinking, explains where they are going and helps everyone stay on track.
  • Helps present a compelling strategic plan to executives (valuable for communication and persuasion).
  • Keeps customers focused on what is most important to them and in what order.
  • Can be used to motivate delivery teams.
Product Roadmaps
Product Roadmap Example

Related Reading

Page Thumbnail

Chipping at the Iceberg: Why Solving the Right Problem Is Important

Every solution should include a well-vetted problem statement, identified actions to implement and success criteria to measure the impact on the system to drive toward more sustainable and holistic results.
Page Thumbnail

Radical Refinements: Transform Story Refinements to Be More Engaging & Effective

This article describes a common anti-pattern seen when refining the backlog and offers some actionable techniques to make story refining more efficient and engaging for all team members.
Page Thumbnail

How to Build the Right Software Product

Software product development is expensive and time consuming. Companies can’t afford to spend time and money building the wrong product. Yet hundreds of products are built each year that are rarely used. So how do companies improve their chances of building the right product?
Page Thumbnail

Why Value Is Made Up and Dates Don’t Matter

Strong product management organizations don’t manage products by features or by delivery date. They know that even with the best research and analytics, the value of a feature is made up until it is confirmed by the users. They know that the delivery date doesn’t matter if the user isn’t getting what they want. They see the relationship between satisfying user needs and achieving business success. They manage products by outcomes. How does your organization manage products?
Page Thumbnail

Software Development Podcast: Product Owners and Agile Business Analysts

Get the latest from WWT's Software Development Podcast.