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116 posts

Master Geek

#302409 21-Nov-2022 15:26
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Been contacted by a company re PO position. I have no experience in this but was recommended by a family friend to apply and kinda shocked they reached out.


I've been asked to provide designs or features I've done previously. I have not since per above no experience lol. As far as improvements in past roles, it's not anything significant (I am recognized for someone that regularly brings good ideas at old jobs though):


Retail: I made small improvements here/there but was more for internal/team use not anything significant for customers (imo). Such as lots of customers are returning items because of x, how can we stop this from reoccurring? Made poster with x info (to target issue), saw returns drop significantly. It was a manual process when I was there, but I saw after I left they incorporated it into marketing material officially.


PM: I would get user requirements, then brief the subject experts and they'd come up with the prototype though I could add input i.e. this type of cart would work better because of x but overall, designers did that and I'm just the gatekeeper for sign-off.


Support: I'm customers direct contact, took feedback, put it into feedback board citing customer use case, glaring issues, alternative thoughts. Company had a PO who sorts the backlog.


Would I bother putting these into my answer or just be straight up "no don't have any". 


Also is it normal for POs to need PowerBI exp? Wasn't listed in JD but came up during questioning.


I'm studying for the PSPO cert, but want to know what to look for next also to keep upskilling if I don't get this role.

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298 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2999284 21-Nov-2022 15:47
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My understanding is the Product Owner generally the Stakeholder representative to the Agile Project Team.


Technical definition is here. So need a high level of product knowledge. If studying to get into this area a good staring point may be CAPM (Certified Associate Project Manager) which you can undertake without prior background.


Good luck with your endeavors.






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2516 posts

Uber Geek

  #2999308 21-Nov-2022 15:52
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Welcome to the world of Agile, where nobody really knows what job titles mean because they are wildly inconsistent across organisations.


Based on your previous experience, your PM role would most closely align with where I see a PO, with the PO typically more focused on the high-level design and prioritising the product backlog rather than strategic product direction. The PO should focus on keeping development moving forward towards common and understood goals. They may provide input into product direction, working with the PM team, but should be reigned in and not given too much responsibility. I've seen products go significantly off the rails due to wayward POs focusing too much on the needs of one client they've been working with and not giving sufficient weight to the needs of the user base as a whole.


We had a PO who decided to leave the company and wanted to leave his mark by completely refocusing the team on some BS reporting made up by fudging data (guessing what it meant) because a handful of existing customers weren't happy with the reporting they got when the evaluated and decided to buy the product. We were at the time implementing IPv6, something new customers actually demanded (competitors had it, so we needed it too), but that got pushed aside for his rubbish. As soon as he left it was thrown out after a 5 minute meeting.


As for experience, assuming this is in a development setting, I consider a PO should have some development experience. This is often not the case, and generally does not seem to be considered necessary, but I wouldn't hire a PO who didn't know basic things about code and data structures. Given they work closely with developers on how things will work and set the "definition of complete", they should at least have a high level understanding of how things really work.


Also, watch out for job creep... the Product Owner is not the Scrum Master, nor are they the Development Manager.


15199 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2999345 21-Nov-2022 17:44
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Short answer all your experience is directly relevant including identifying the need for and making that poster. You're on exactly the right track.

128 posts

Master Geek

ID Verified

  #2999514 21-Nov-2022 22:46
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Make sure that you tailer your cover letter and CV to the job description. Remember that it's an employee's market out there. Only way to get a decent salary bump is to change jobs, and that's what POs are doing. 

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