We use software every day to communicate, complete work tasks, order goods and services, reserve hotel rooms, stream entertainment and play online games. It’s literally everywhere we are. Like most people, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about software until something looks different on your screen or doesn’t work as expected. If the problem is particularly troublesome, you may even take the time to report it to a support team. Then what happens?
At Broadvine, regardless of whether someone reports a minor bug or requests a new feature, all modifications to software must be reviewed, scheduled, tested and approved by a Product Owner. We recently sat down with our Product Owners to learn more about their job.
What is a Product Owner?
Software doesn’t just spring into existence. Just like building a house or a car, developing new tools, enhancing existing processes, and fixing bugs requires a lot of thought, planning, and coordination. The Product Owner acts as both the gatekeeper and ringleader for these activities. Always at the center of the action, we work with both customers and the engineering team to keep development efforts in line with business needs and industry practices. We not only prioritize and schedule engineering work, we also confirm and approve all fixes and features before they are released.
Who works with Product Owners?
We work closely with all Broadvine teams to support our customers. With assistance from the Account Managers, we gather and write requirements for developing new tools and reports, setting up new data feeds, executing bug fixes, and onboarding new customers. We coordinate the efforts of the Engineering team to build and test features and fixes. From start to finish, continuous conversations are required between teams and customers to ensure we have the information required to build the right thing.
What are the biggest challenges for a Product Owner?
The “discovery” part of the process is both fun and challenging. When we consider an enhancement or feature request, we first take a step back to understand the underlying reason for the request. Once we understand the problem, we can explore different ideas to provide a solution.
Our daily challenge is determining the complexity, importance and level of effort needed to complete a request. Often, what seems like a simple fix may require changes to many different areas of the code. Another challenge is translating a user’s “want’ or “need” into technical requirements that engineers can follow to write the code or resolve the problem.
How important is customer input?
We listen to what our Customers are asking for and most importantly WHY they are asking for it. If we understand why something is needed and how it fits into the customer’s business processes, we have a great team of engineers who can help us come up with solutions or develop new tools to fill the need.
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