Product owners, what does your day look like?

Last post 03:05 am January 15, 2020
by Sherwin Soriano
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08:01 am January 14, 2020

I sometimes play with the idea of switching my career to product owner. It is probably very different for everyone, but I'd love to hear what your day looks like in practice. I have my PO certification, not looking for theoretical stories.

So what do you do on a daily basis, how much time do you sit in front of a computer and what other tasks do you do? Which parts do you enjoy and which are less enjoyable? And is it a fulltime job or are you combining it with something else?

02:42 pm January 14, 2020

When I was a Product Owner here's a few examples of activities that I may perform during the course of the day. Of course, everyday is different and can bring new surprises. I worked on a product used by internal employees so these are coming from that perspective but can be applied to consumer facing products as well. 

  • Touch base with development team to see if they need anything from myself or other stakeholders within next 24 hours - negotiate work in and out depending on progress towards Sprint Goal
  • Collaborate with development team as needed on acceptance criteria clarification and testing or design approval
  • Sit with operational departments to see how they're using the product and discover any new pain points or opportunities 
  • Review backlog and reorder, remove, or add items based on emerging information
  • Mentor junior analysts on product
  • Put together documentation in regards to return on investment for recent Sprints or lagging indicators from data of previously implemented features 
  • Refine backlog with development team for next 5-10 upcoming items - update backlog accordingly 
  • Conduct Sprint Review with stakeholders and development team 
  • Miscellaneous meetings for production support items, audit findings, new contract requests, etc. 

In my opinion to be effective at this role it should be a full time job. In my experience, trying to juggle this with an operational position never seems to work out in the favor of the Product Owner duties. 

03:05 am January 15, 2020

Our Product owners always tell us that in order to be an effective PO, you need to have the business perspective and user views. You need to have that "view" to assess what is needed by the client or how you can make suggestions or alternatives on their requests.