The best Product Owners are those able to see the bigger picture. They analyse growing markets, identify opportunities and set the trajectory for business growth by harnessing domain knowledge to guide a successful product strategy. A good Product Owner keeps ahead of the market to deliver the right solutions at the right time for the maximum impact.
Arguably a Product Owner's most important role is to create a strategy based on business intelligence thus producing more realistic goals. The ability to understand the practical opportunity and brief a product team with well-founded goals, realistic success criteria and clearly defined milestones is an invaluable skill.
Definitive goals and success metrics allow teams to deliver solutions through a shared focus. Taking a data-driven approach to product releases allows well-considered analytics to measure and conclude large-scale business impact and changes in user behaviour.
A gradual roll-out to market enables low-risk releases that can be distributed further as data significance is reached and confidence in positive impact is achieved. Success metrics can be monitored to ensure continuity of impact post-release. This approach, providing that the control group (original version) is maintained, allows the impact of multiple instances to be measured and compared for better-informed product decisions.
In some instances, large-scale insights can challenge the results of usability reviews and consequent behaviour predictions. This is because usability testing sessions often result in greater levels of consideration and patience in comparison to ‘real world’ usage.
In the cases where data suggests surprising results or negative impact on success metrics then a release can be rolled-back or iterated upon for additional review.
When focussing on a specific success metric, it’s important to measure how product changes might impact user behaviour across the experience. For instance, if your goal is to increase the number of signed in users then you may decide to include a login prompt at the start of the experience. This may increase your metric but could have significant effect on total number of new users converting. An effort to consider and measure inferred effects will increase awareness of potential impact on user behaviour and other business metrics.
A data-driven approach to product development allows team members to see the direct effect of their product changes on the business. Reviewing success metrics regularly increases transparency, encourages a more data-driven culture and provides the opportunity to celebrate successes. Controlled releases allow the team to learn and react to smaller-scale insights, providing a feeling of control and shared ownership.
A strong Product Owner leads business growth on well-founded goals, communicating clear success metrics to the team, encouraging a shared focus with freedom to achieve. They lead a transparent, controlled approach to releases, reducing risk and increasing awareness of business impact among stakeholders. With the opportunity to celebrate success, this approach makes for happy teams producing high-impact products.
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