Product Owner - Bangalore - Csg Systems
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About the role
The Product Owner is a key leadership role in Agile software development. The high-level responsibilities of a PO include:
Working with Product Management to determine and understand market drivers
Resolving ambiguity and defining potential solutions which fit the market need
Guiding and assisting the team during construction of the proposed solution
Validating what was developed meets the stated requirements
In general, the skills required to be effective in the role would require experience in a software development environment, or industry experience of at least:
- Product Owner: 8+ years
- Senior Product Owner: 11+ years
The Product Owner plays a central part in creating new features and enhancements. POs need the right skills, experience, and characteristics to help ensure the success of the individual, the team, the product, and the company. Product Owners must possess the following key characteristics to perform well.
Excellent Communication Skill
The PO is the liaison between Product Management and the R&D team. This requires excellent communication skills as the PO translates business requirements/needs/drivers into solution options that meet the business need. The PO must also be able to communicate detail and context to Delivery Teams via verbal and written media such that the teams have all they need to construct a suitable and cost-effective solution. Must have demonstrable ability in writing and interpreting software specifications and Agile features and user stories
Equally important are negotiation skills. A Product Management or Professional Services stakeholder may have expectations of a potential solution which may be not realisable or cost-effective. The Product Owner must often engage in negotiation to have alternative solutions accepted
The team must be able to trust the PO to make the hard calls on scope and to defend their interest in functionality, quality and practices. Product Managers must be able to trust the PO to faithfully represent their business requirements and priorities to the teams.
The PO plays a leadership role throughout the development process and works with many people and personalities across various organizations. The PO must establish good working relationships with Product Management, Delivery Teams and other POs and become established as a leader who is respected, trusted and whom others will follow. The PO is the final arbiter on functionality points. Their leadership ability enables POs to direct functional solutions that meet the business requirements while driving towards the Product Vision and adhering to the stated Architecture Roadmap.
The PO needs to have very good collaboration skills. The PO must establish excellent working relationships with Product Management, the Scrum Master (SM), the team, and other POs in order to build a functionally cohesive solution. Working closely with others and collaborating is essential for the team to ultimately deliver a solution that meets the business needs.
Our industry is global and diverse and a good Product Owner has experience and working knowledge of the different facets of the telecommunications industry. Characteristics include technologies (e.g. wireless, data, networking), markets (e.g. wireline, mobile, data, content), Government standards and regulations and even other markets such as Finance or generic transaction processing. The PO must be well versed in the primary aspects of the customers’ business: key roles played by their employees and high-level processes and procedures such as marketing, finance, BSS/OSS components, network and billing operations. By understanding the customers’ business, the PO can better define solutions that deliver real value to the end users. The PO ensures software applications contain the necessary system functionality and performance for users to effectively perform their daily tasks.
A Senior Product Owner is expected to be able to analyse and debate costs and ROI of proposed features as well as potential solution alternatives.
The PO must have expert knowledge in telecommunications BSS or billing to be able to provide guardianship and guidance for the evolution of the application. The PO must be able to propose solutions to stated business problems, assess alternative solutions and identify gaps based on their knowledge of the product and how clients use the product. Since the PO accepts the user stories at the end of the iteration, they must have the knowledge to verify that the solution solves the business needs while integrating seamlessly into the existing application. The PO talks to and potentially demonstrates the new features at the end of the PSI to other development teams and external stakeholders and interested parties and must be able to demonstrate the application as a seasoned user.
The PO must be able to propose new and inventive solutions that meet or exceed stakeholder expectations. This involves breaking down the business problem so it can be understood at the lowest level to create a solution that meets all aspects of the problem. The PO must be able to understand and champion large, complex development efforts and break down complex functionality into smaller units of work that can be delivered within each sprint, release and across multiple releases.
The PO must manage the scope of the development effort, which requires constant evaluation of technical, functional, performance, and user-value trade-offs. This requires a degree of technical competence as a foundation since effective decision making is based on the technology. The PO must have an understanding of underlying technical architectures to be certain proposed solutions adhere to architectural principles and guidelines. In addition, the PO must prioritise development-driven versus product-driven stories. The PO shall be capable of engaging in technical discussions with the Delivery Team and have sufficient knowledge and confidence to assist, guide and persuade the Delivery Team to search for the most-cost-effective solution. This knowledge aids the PO in making assessments and informed decisions on technical issues, such as alternative development techniques, performance efficiencies, and development-driven refactoring.
The Role will have the following responsibilities:
Liaise with Product Management to ensure that Lightweight Business Cases are suitably crafted, where appropriate.
Create feature pages and Jira backlog entries of potential solution options by analysis of current system capabilities, industry and market trends, interviews with stakeholders and own experience.
Liaise with the Principal Architect to ensure technical and architectural viability and assign a Level 0 estimate.
For approved epics and features, expand into detailed features which can be feasibly implemented in 1 PSI and obtain Level 1 or Level 2 estimates with Delivery Team members
S enior: Take the lead on defining characteristics of or opportunities in a new domain, functional area or line of business.
As part of the Product Planning team, liaise with Product Management to determination the highest priority features for consideration in an upcoming PSI
Present salient characteristics of assigned features to the R&D team, to facilitate teams’ understanding of said features such that they can form estimates and discuss likely implementation tasks as part of decomposing backlog epics into features.
Support teams during planning day by providing context around functional and non-functional requirements, dependencies, minimum scope and prioritizations.
Work with the Delivery Team regularly to groom features to produce user stories and acceptance criteria
Ensure that the Delivery team always has at least two sprints’ worth of groomed stories in the team backlog
Keep features in Jira up-to-date with acceptance criteria, estimates and correct statuses
Attend DT daily stand ups, sprint planning meetings and sprint reviews
Attend DT retrospectives when appropriate and when requested
Be available to and/or co-located with the DT throughout a sprint as required by the DT, with the expectation to interact with the team at least once per day
Provide business context, additional story detail, make prioritisation calls as required by the Delivery team around functional and non-functional requirements, dependencies, minimum scope throughout the PSI, as required
Accept or reject stories at the end of each sprint by confirming compliance with definitions of done and acceptance criteria
Engage external stakeholders, including Product Managers and Product Sponsors (typically from PS or Solutions Engineering) throughout the PSI to gauge fitness for purpose and elicit feedback
Accountable for relevant feature-specific content of the Solution Description for the current PSI
Take a lead role during system demos and Inspect and Adapt sessions in communicating details of newly implemented features
Assist DT by taking on tasks to facilitate sprint deliveries as required
Conduct regular meetings with the Scrum Master of an assigned team (suggest at least once per sprint) to ensure a good working relationship is maintained and look for opportunities or impediments to the PSI delivery
Provide feedback to managers regarding strengths and development areas of team members and peers
Engage in both Product Planning forums and Product Owner/Scrum Master forums, fostering trust and seeking ways to continually improve individuals, teams and processes