Even in companies devoted to an agile or lean development process, developing an app involves a lot of moving parts, people, and invested stakeholders expecting a high ROI. So, what’s the secret to getting your mobile app built without deteriorating into chaos and/or a bad product?
Good Product Owners
In an agile environment, a product owner is the key player responsible for the product’s success. Not only does the product owner cast the vision for the development team, but they’re the one who prioritizes features and establishes what gets done when. The product owner juggles deadlines, team motivation, development flow, marketing and sales, senior management, and end-user desires (expressed or otherwise).
The product owner is also an essential link of communication between the end user and the developers, as well as between the developers and the rest of the stakeholders. It’s up to the product owner to accurately convey the vision of what is being built to the developers to ensure that the team is building the right product.
However, it’s also up to the product owner to accurately convey the limitations and abilities of the team to marketing, management, and investors to create reasonable expectations. Because of their intimate knowledge of all of the players in the development of a product, they are the ones who have the final say in product decisions and they make sure the product is creating value for both the customer and the company. In essence, the success or failure of a product rests on the product owner.
Because that’s one heck of a role, a product owner can make or break a team and, subsequently, make or break a product. Which raises the question, what makes a great product owner?
Knowing end-users, management styles, the marketplace, competition, and future trends is hugely important, but without a motivated team, all of that knowledge can quickly go to waste. A team that knows they’re building something that matters will be energized to hit deadlines and work together to build the best product they can. A good product owner is a catalyst for that motivation.
In addition, with a clear purpose, a product owner can keep the whole team focused. From marketing to developers to stakeholders, feature creep can become a huge problem, and it’s the product owner’s job to keep everyone devoted to the end purpose at hand. So it’s essential for a product owner to be able to communicate well. If they’re able to translate “developer speak” to marketing language to management language, you’ve got a golden product owner on your hands.
At Five Pack Creative we are committed to the success of each project and have made it a priority to find stellar product owners for each job. If you’ve got an idea or would like to start on a project, request a free consultation!