What's a good way to start with a PO Chapter/Department in a new company

Last post 02:28 pm March 24, 2020
by César Eduardo Palma Saborío
4 replies
07:23 pm March 23, 2020

Hi All,


I am not quite sure how to call it but, recently I was hired as a PO for a company that has had no POs before, I am the first one pretty much. Now being the first one and if I do a good job, they might be hiring new POs for other projects/customers.

Given this, I was thinking that maybe setting up something similar to PMO might be a good idea for the future and I was wondering if someone has gone through similar processes that could share some information, articles or just tips on how I might be able to start this PO department at my new company?


Thanks in advance for all and any help.

11:27 pm March 23, 2020

You could create a Community of Practice for fellow Product Owners and Scrum Practitioners. It would be a forum for education and for exchanging ideas. Recurring brown bag sessions, invite guest speakers, cater snacks, play videos, learn skills, and establish a message board or an online community to go along with it.

A PMO is something completely different and is built for governance. 

So are you looking to establish a community or are you looking for a command and control body to tell others how they should work within scope, budget and timelines?

12:39 am March 24, 2020

Now being the first one and if I do a good job, they might be hiring new POs for other projects/customers.

Would you say that the company is product focused, as opposed to project focused, and hence in clear need of product ownership?

02:45 am March 24, 2020

Thank you Mark, I understand a PMO is different, but I thought there might be something similar for the POs, what you mention on your first paragraph sounds excellent and I'll try to make something like that work.

To your question, yes, I am looking to establish a community rather than a control body, I was in a company where the first PO became the "PO manager" and it is a disaster as he is always trying to have everyone do what he says, the way he says... it just doesn't work, no one respects him.

I don't want that, if I get the chance to establish this and for some reason I become somewhat a managerial figure, I just want for it to be as collaborative as possible so that the PO chapter/community/department is a self-organizing group where there is no one deciding, but rather a group working together to improve everyone else.

If this brings any more ideas to you, please do share them, I appreciate it.

Thank you very much.

02:54 am March 24, 2020

Hi Ian, thank you for the question.

For what I am seeing, it is a very Agile development environment and they have worked with other POs and SMs before in product focused tasks, just these POs and SMs are usually on customer side. So I would say they are product focused, although, since I am new to the company, I cannot be 100% sure of this.

The company is a nearshore one and offers development services, so that's why they have had no POs, until now. I cannot say the company has a need for POs since they have usually been provided by customers.

But, they are in the process of growing and offering PO services could expand their business as I see it and this is why I want to do a little more than just being a PO for X customer. That's why I am thinking ahead and trying to show them that we can have a good chance of expanding business by having whatever could be close to a PMO but for POs.

Not sure if this clarifies a little my intention? If not please let me know and if it does please do share any insights, I greatly appreciate it.