Why Go Virtual?
Every business needs a Product Owner but many cannot justify hiring for a full-time role. This often means either doing without or trying to get an existing person to juggle their role as well as managing product decisions, which is not ideal. That’s why we developed a solution which gives you the ability to get a dedicated expert PO, but on-demand and for just the hours you need - the VPO (Virtual Product Owner).
The Virtual Product Owner is an experienced, independent professional who embeds themselves in your product team between 5 and 25 hours per week (hours needed depends on the size of your delivery team and complexity of the product).
What is a Product Owner?
The Product Owner role is the most important role for ensuring your product budget is spent wisely. Their main priority is to prevent spending precious resources (budget and time) on anything which does not move the product closer to success. An experienced Product Owner will build a clear, specific definition of success which is aligned with both the customer needs and business goals. They will make sure the designers, developers and salespeople are all working towards the same goal. In any good agile/lean team the priorities change regularly, the Product Owner ensures that the team stay focused on the outcomes and team is working together with the greatest efficiency.
How do you know it’s time to get a Virtual Product Owner?
When you find yourself spending too many hours answering developer questions and making minute product decisions when you really should be out there selling
When product release dates keep slipping
When new features are released because they you think customers might like them, and not because you know they will pay more for them
Transitioning to a full-time Product Owner
Working with a VPO will give you a good understanding of how the role fits into your team and what type of Product Owner will work best for you. The VPO can help train internal staff who want to move into the role. Once you have had an idea of how the Product Owner Role works in your team the VPO can help you recruit the right full time Product Owner for your team and provide ongoing mentorship.
Typical VPO responsibilities include:
Run regular Backlog Grooming to ensure new features are clearly defined
Run regular Sprint Planning to ensure deadlines will be achievable
Product QA to ensure high quality is maintained
Manage testing program to ensure appropriate level of functional testing is done
Support development team by removing blockers & finding resolutions to issues
Write descriptions of new features for the Product Roadmap
Facilitate Product Roadmap planning sessions with product design team and Founder
Prepare regular Product Success reports
Report resource issues, blockers and opportunities
Review and critique third party estimates
Resource Planning to ensure the team has enough resources to achieve the product goals