Congratulations on your new role, now you are a “Product Owner”

We have new roles and additional responsibilities as a result of changing the business or changing the way in which you work. As an example to myself, in the past I was working as a “Project Manager” and now I am working on the title “Product Owner”.

Today, project management is changing. In the world where needs change rapidly to keep up with the pace of technology, traditional project management methodologies such as Waterfall are no longer preferred for software development projects. Especially Agile Project management approaches are very popular recently.

We have adopted Scrum from Agile project management approaches in our company. The role of “Product Owner” (or “PO”), which we will talk about, is very important both for the development team as well as for general operation and healthy progress of the projects.

Let’s review what the “Product Owner” is responsible for;

  • As it’s written at the Scrum Guide, prepares and maintains the “Product Backlog” of the Scrum Team, which includes what the Development Team will do
  • Clearly specifying the Product Backlog jobs
  • Understanding and supplying information at the level required by the Development Team
  • Prioritizing requests to the project according to the values
  • Ensuring that “Product Backlog” is clearly visible to everyone and determining what the Development Team will do next
  • Maximizing the work of the developed product and the development team itself.

It will be a small stimulus for my friends who have worked like “Project Manager” in the past. In your new job you have to get rid of your old habits like being a manager of the development team, taking care of your friends in the development team. Because they are not included in the “PO” task definition. To give your business the necessary support in order to prioritize the projects that will give maximum value to the project and to ensure that they are produced quickly.

Of course, we can also assume independent roles from titles in line with the needs of the institutions we work with. I am responsible for many businesses that do not have a “PO” role definition; for example, evaluation of customer claims, preparation of project scope, determination of project cost with software and design teams, product testing with customers. Naturally, the Scrum Guide does not write these in the “PO” quests. But I think it is important for “POs” to be involved in every step of the project as the real owner of the business. It will also be the best practice to directly contact the stakeholders to account for each claimant’s work, to direct them, and to ensure that the final decision is taken and to prioritize the work ahead of the development team.

In my opinion, if we return to the most important point; At the end of the day, developing a project is a team effort. In some projects you may choose to have some of the materials we have listed above made by the development team or someone else, or take responsibility beyond your role, but this mistake should not be overlooked. The “Product Owner” is the original owner and responsible, but not the person making the job.

Ozan Savaşçı
PO

Mobile Trend Predictions for 2017

Each new year’s trend, is a small trail of a general axis transformation. If you can’t see the megatrends, it’s difficult to capture the opportunity and even understand what you find.

Over the next 15 years, the 4 main trends, not only the technology, but also along with the whole area of economic majoring and affect our way of life. Even politics can be even claim to wake again.

Following are the 4 Megatrends: Cloud Systems, Big Data, Communication between the goods and Social media …

Also the first months we left behind by 2017, these days we will experience digital trends this year gives us a wink that, ‘”Mobile is very important this year” will be replaced by “But first, mobile.”

The companies can’t give the experience of mobile compatibility to the users, also can not not think about the new strategies by using mobile platform, will behind the competition.

In October, the first time in the history, mobile usage exceeded the desktop internet usage. As only 31.9% of the traffic comes from the mobile globally, in Turkey this amount increased up to 58%.

Live Broadcast and Periodical Sharing will increase even more

Most frequently consumed in 2016, live video sharing became even more precious. Mobile applications like Facebook and Instagram are increasing their investment and development in progress. In 2017 the use of the live broadcast for both users and companies will quite increase.

About  periodical sharing,  when it comes to focusing and use with the Snapchat, Scorp and Instagram Stories with spreading fast self-destructed posts, will continue to increase their use in 2017 and play an important role in brands’ content strategy. Users are no longer intereseted in stored contents, are the biggest supporters of this trend.

Social Media Shopping Trends

By the trend of boutiques and  shopping in Instagram, and also developing of “Facebook’s ‘ Shop” shows the fact  that  the social media is a very important platform. It’s much more expected with ‘ buy ‘ buttons in social media for the next year.

Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

By the 360 degree video technology development, increasing the platform and devices that support VR, this year a lot talked about virtual reality (VR) applications, especially in 2017 will be played an important role in the communication of the brands. The brand’s products and services enable users with an interactive experience and storytelling to virtual reality technology that allows, in terms of the sale of the product brands will add a surplus value. Its in 3D, automotive, real estate projects, decoration and many more area to do a year of VR brand investments. Game companies are going to be players who benefit the most from this technology. Also next year, Augmented reality (AR) are expected lots of  success stories. The most concrete instance of it this year we lived together with Pokemon Go.

The Rise Of Mobile Applications

The use of mobile applications continues in full speed. In 2016 so much talked mobile applications, will increase the rates of use in 2017. Globally published reports also say so. But here there’s a detail; application size and higher dimensioned updates (high MB) began creating a limitation for users. This updates compared to the innovative web applications (Progressive Web APP) trend will start to loose. Instead of applications installed on the mobile, it would be more effective for the users, just have shortcuts on mobile screens.

ChatBots

By corresponding interactively with users, producing answers on specific scenarios, as talking with them, having an opinion and to inform about questions they asked, the use of Chatbots in 2017 will clearly so increse. News monitoring, online shopping, customer relations and many areas such as weather forecast and traffic that can serve more by the learning of the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are expected.

Mobile compliance and Accelerated Pages (AMP)

Especially Google’s priority for the mobile sites in search results is more important in 2017. Non-mobile-compatible sites/companies will stay behind the competition. A large part of mobile strategies of brands will be about mobile in  2017. In this respect, accelerated mobile pages (Google AMP) will become more important.

Importance of Mobile in Native Content

Natural Commercials (native contents) were used intensively by the companies, which the message integrated into the content. Next year, together with the increase of users ‘ mobile content consumption, the importance of traffic through the desktop usage will be higher.

Esra Peker
Sales Director

The PM Role is Dead, Long Live the PO

We all know what “Project Manager” (PM) is, at least we all use the word quite often when it comes to IT/business projects in general. Scrum framework introduced us to a new term called “Product Owner” (PO).

So who is PO? The value maximizer of the product and the work of the development team.

Basically main conceptual differences between PM and PO derive from Scrum’s focus on the product’s itself, its value and self-organizing teams. This is why Scrum rejects the role of PM and divides up its responsibilities and reassigns them among the three Scrum roles, mostly to the Development Team and PO.

Let’s have a look at its diverging features from PM through Mobven’s agile transformation experience. In order to prevent conflicting responsibilities, unclear authority, and undesired results, we decided to eliminate the PM role as it was prescribed by the Scrum framework.

First of all, our focus shifted from creating a temporary endeavor to manage a predefined project to maximizing the value of the product to satisfy customers’ need or want. Former PMs and newly POs started to ask what? and why? instead of when? and how? Shortly, the mindset changed from being schedule driven to value driven.

Secondly, newly POs started spending their time heavily on defining the product roadmap, connecting stakeholders and the development team, specifying and prioritizing requirements rather than executing and delivering the project on time and on budget. In parallel to this transition the whole company including top management supported the development team to become self-organizing and embrace the culture of continuous improvement with the help of the Scrum Master.

The most important element of the agile transformation was being able to adapt frequently to the changing regulations, especially in financial sector as well as the evolving needs of the customers. Our new POs oriented themselves to adopt this mentality and pushed their limits to expertize in change, scope and communications management.

On the other hand, not everything has transformed in the lives of Mobven’s beloved former PMs. Working very close to the development team and being strongly involved by ensuring that the team develops the right thing in the prioritized order remains the same.

Cultural and organizational transformation within the Scrum framework resulted in significantly greater success in Mobven experience and we, as the Mobven family, get excited to see how the way we do our job gets better and better thanks to this revolution.

Gizem Gümüş
Product Owner

 


[1] Scrum framework was introduced by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in the mid-1990s.