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Well, with this post I am sharing my experiences, mistakes, and learnings I acquired as a product owner. Since it is a journey I thought to publish it in episodes, hope you get some information from my experiences.
Before Product Owner I was a Test Engineer. As a lead test engineer, I was responsible to bring different tools and technologies for test automation, establishing testing best practices, methodologies in teams also was responsible to minimize any manual testing activities performed by business owners during their day to day business operations.
During that period I designed a tool and a process around it to do a test on live. Yes!! you got it right, this was the first product that I owned.
While designing, I was always thinking about how to get benefit out of this tool for business users. For that reason, I noted down all the manual activities that our business owners were doing to do a live test.
If you observe my activities, I was trying to get the value of the product. Of course the value was not in terms of money but reducing manual activity.
Learning 1: It is not necessary to find or to have a product value in terms of money, it can also be in terms of time-saving.
But I didn't have any analytics to measure that value.
Mistake 1: You should always establish your analytics to measure the value the moment you get the idea of what to measure and how to measure.
Still I moved ahead with the developer to complete the product, during the development phase there were a lot of ideas came in but I was focused to finish the product with a minimum possible functionalities so that business can perform at least their basic tests, and finally, we released the product. After a week or two, I started getting feedback about the product that the business owners were not only using but also liked, as it was giving them a lot of relief from manual tasks, on top they started giving me ideas on how this tool can be enhanced to help them more.
Learning 2: Always deliver a product with minimum possible functionalities to get feedback faster. (MVP - Minimum Viable Product)
After building a technical product, my management decided to give me a business product to take care of. That was the beginning of my new career as a Product Owner.
Till the time I was offered the role, I didn't have deep knowledge about product management, I only knew the activities performed by other product owners from the day-to-day work. For a full year I delivered and managed a product (even though it was meant for internal usage). I was under impression that I can do product management without any difficulties.
I could only see the grass is green on the other side.
Learning 3: If you want to change your career path to a completely different role, my advice is to get good knowledge first, otherwise be prepared to fall into the marshes.
What kind of marshes I am referring to, what are my learning and my mistakes as a Product Owner, will continue in my next episode.
Till then take good care of yourself, stay happy and healthy.