An Agile product owner’s four main goals are to maintain flexibility with the scope of the project, to receive team feedback or input, to always focus on continuous improvement, and finally to deliver the highest quality products. I’m Jared Cambra, one of Zibtek’s product owners. I am a California native who enjoys spending time with my family and beard growing competitions. Just kidding, but I do have a great beard. I am absolutely fanatical about technology and I love working with people too, which makes being a product owner a great job for me. I have long standing experience in customer success and Zibtek is no different. Not only do I get to work with my clients to create a killer products, I also get to work with Zibtek’s development team. I’ve learned so much from them about how to help my clients and they are always supportive of new features. The Agile methodology works great for us as a distributed development team because our priorities are always shifting. We do everything we can to make sure that we’re building the ideal product for our client. But enough about me, here is my spiel about why Agile project management is the only way to go for your next development project.
The Product Owner, Your New Best Friend
The idea of Agile project management was founded on 12 basic principles and four core values called the Agile Manifesto. These principles outline the fundamentals of what Agile software development is as we know it. Why the shift from the Waterfall method to the Agile method? Because designing and developing new products with bookended constraints doesn’t render great products. As focuses, timelines, and budgets change throughout the development process, the team can be flexible while maintaining high quality code and producing working deliverables at every stage of development. The bottom line is that most projects are a great fit for Agile development, which can save time and money. So basically, you can’t afford not to give the Agile methodology a try.
For an archer, a moving target is a nightmare, for a good product owner, a moving target is part of the daily grind. We develop using Agile because we think it creates the highest quality products with all the right features that our clients deserve. This methodology allows us to meet key milestones and give stakeholders quick and accurate status updates at the drop of a hat. It’s all about embracing change, even if it’s a complete departure from the direction we’ve been going, to develop features that will create value for our clients.
Your Agile Team
Managing an Agile software development project can’t be done by just one person. It takes the effort of several team members to develop a truly Agile product. While I’d love to say that all my projects go off without a hitch because I am an incredible product owner, it takes the work of a team to develop greatness. Here’s a quick rundown on who your team is and what their responsibilities are. The Development Team is obvious, they are the ones who will be writing code, testing and developing your product. The Scrum Master owns the responsibility of supporting the development team in any way they need. This person clears roadblocks, manages feature timelines, and buys the team donuts. Finally, the Product Owner holds the responsibility of connecting the client’s wishes with the development team’s tasks. A serious undertaking, no doubt. Zibtek’s product owners (and probably most companies developing using Agile) are required to manage development timelines while always accounting for the project’s scope, communicating development tasks and due dates to the developers, and most importantly turning the client’s ideal product into a workable reality for his team. All the while, this person is adapting to ever-changing priorities and requirements. This role is ultimately responsible for the client’s ROI on development efforts. No pressure.
Whether you like our model specifically or prefer to use in-house employees, this is the basis for what Agile project management should look like. The product owner plays an important role in getting the client exactly what they want, but the product’s development takes the work of the whole team. Check out some of our past work to get a taste of what we’ve built for all types of clients in several different industries.