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Technical Product owner - interview question

Last post 06:45 pm February 15, 2023 by Jan Grzebielucha
5 replies
07:48 pm February 14, 2023

hi all, 

I'm really curious, what would be your answer to the scenario and question below? 

 An important customer has requested integration with their in-house “tool". The request has come in via our customer success team. We have not previously heard of this tool, and don’t know any details about it. A decision needs to be made, whether to invest in building this integration, and what priority to give it. For context, when we have done integrations in the past, they have typically taken 2-10 weeks for the dev team to complete.

What plan on "what to do next/next steps" would you suggest ? 


Any tips/suggestion will be appreciated (in first comment I've pasted my answer (please comment as well) 

07:49 pm February 14, 2023

Below, what I would answer: 

  1. As a technical product owner, I would engage with customer success team to make sure I have all info has been provided by a Third party. 
  2. Engage with Third party product owner/project lead to get full understanding of their needs, learn about their tool, ask for latest API documentation 
  3. I would analyze their tool and documentation provided internally with our dev team 
  4. Once, feasibility is confirmed, I would organize a tech meeting with a Third party tech team and project lead in order to make sure we’re aligned with expectations 
  5. Prepare brief project plan based points 1-4, discuss it with CPO, CTO 
  6. Once confirmed, I would communicate with Third party

10:17 pm February 14, 2023

There's a marginal understanding of time to market (2-10 weeks), still less about the ability of a team to innovate and nothing at all about the earned value of this product in relation to any unearned value that  could be leveraged from integration. Those are the broad areas to consider from an evidence-based management perspective.

It's also worth considering if this work is Done, given that integration is missing. In other words it's possible that this is a quality concern, that the client could rightly expect integration to be facilitated (e.g. via an API), and that the failure to recognize and support this capability represents technical debt.

11:03 pm February 14, 2023

The first thing that popped into my mind is whether the integrator will garner enough benefit from building the integration.  "An important customer" doesn't tell me enough about whether my company should invest in the work to build an interface.  What if their internal system is written in Assembly Language and runs on a 30 year old mainframe?  Would the cost to understand how to integrate with that be worth the benefit of doing it?  And what about ongoing support of that work? While your plan seems to be capable of uncovering some of this information, I would do some very quick fact finding to get at least an initial assessment of feasibility.  

I have to admit I'm curious why you decided to post this question in a Scrum forum? Since Scrum does not make any reference to types of Product Owners or even discuss any procedural work that would be related to this kind of activity, what made you come here to post this? 

06:39 pm February 15, 2023

Hi Ian Mitchell, thank you for your reply

06:45 pm February 15, 2023

Hi Daniel Wilhite thank you for your comments, 

I came to purely as consequence of my google search for "product owner forum"

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