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Day In The Life Of A Product Owner

The yellow Minder icon against a black background on the homepage of the website for software engineering company Mindera.

Mindera - Global Software Engineering Company

2022 Jul 1 - 1min. Read


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Three people talking and laughing as they work at their computers in an office.

Day In The Life Of A Product Owner.

We have a lot of lovely product owners (POs) at Mindera and they’re some of our true superheroes.

They bridge the gap between our client stakeholders and our product developers. They manage and prioritise product backlog. They support our developers. They’re masters of communication who build amazing relationships.

Marcin Kulas is one of our POs. He previously worked as a quality assurance tester (QA) for us and it warmed our hearts when he said that “Mindera helped me massively to make the transition to being a PO.”

He shared what a day in the life of a PO is like with us and we turned it into this blog post, one that also talks about transitioning between roles at Mindera. We hope you find it helpful.

Similarities and differences between the QA and PO roles

We give people the freedom to decide if they want to find a new role within Mindera and the support they need to make it happen – it’s important to us that people can choose their own path.

Moving from QA to PO highlights both the similarity and the difference between the two roles. The similarity is that you have to understand the client’s business and the product you’re building. The difference is that the PO role is geared more towards the bigger picture.

With QA, you’re more focused on the task in hand because you break it down into the smallest possible pieces and make sure they all fit together and work as one.

With the PO role, you can’t do this because there’s not enough time and there are a lot of other things to consider, such as planning forward and trying to make it fit into the road map – you’re making the small pieces fit into the bigger picture.

It’s a different way of thinking than that of a QA, as you have to give more trust to others to get the work done to deliver the project. You plan out the story as a whole, but then the small tasks inside are given out to other people in the team. You can help the team out, but then you need help back from everyone to ensure everything is spaced out for them.

Communication is the most important part of being a PO

There’s a lot of trust involved in being a PO and this means you really need to build good relationships with everyone you work with. How you communicate with others is the most important part of the role.

Sometimes you’re acting as scrum master and other things as well as being a PO. You’re wearing a lot of different hats at the same time but it just comes naturally. It’s not that you’re acting as a proper scrum master but sometimes you have to wear those shoes just comfortably enough to do what’s needed for your team.

Communication with the clients and stakeholders is vital. You’ll be asked a lot of questions and sometimes just sending the ticket back answers what’s been put to you. On other occasions you’ll need to have in-depth conversations.

There will be times when you meet people who are really clued-in to the business side, while on other occasions it’ll be the exact opposite. You need to be able to answer both sides and that’s one of the really cool things about being a PO.

Building great relationships with clients is key

Project status reports are when PO’s say to the client: “This is what we planned, this is what we did. These are the risks we are seeing going forward, these are the challenges we are experiencing.”

There are so many quirks on the business side, as things evolve and change. It makes it challenging to plan, so you chat with the client and ask them for the information you need.

You have to stay on top of what’s happening and make sure you keep a good relationship with the client, as there are things you’ll need to push for with them.

You’re pushing to get access for your team, so they can do something. You’re pushing for the business requirements to be shared, so you can really understand what the team is being asked to do.

Roadmap and knowing what the next steps are

Much as you need to be aware of the roads to follow when you’re cruising towards a destination in your sleek (we hope!) car, you need to know what the roadmap is as a PO and have a clear understanding of what the next steps are.

You have to make sure you have enough work for the team but not too much, as you want to ensure that you’re able to finish what you promised to deliver.

There will be deadlines to meet and you’ll plan how to achieve them. We follow an agile way of working at Mindera and that means there will be change and flexibility. But you can provide a high-level estimation of when work is going to be delivered.

Having a show and tell session when a sprint finishes

Presenting to clients is an important part of being a PO. We have a show and tell at the end of every sprint — often call the Demo. This is where we present the work that’s been completed during that time frame.

We’ll prep and the team will show you what is going to be demoed. We’ll run through a few pointers to make sure everyone is on the same page, then you’ll create the presentation and deliver it to the client.

Conclusion: a PO’s day is about building and maintaining relationships

There’s so much that goes into being a PO but relationships are the foundation on which everything is built. We’re a group of friends who love working and socialising together and are proud of the connections we have with our clients. If you’re the same then it may be that you’ll love becoming one of our amazing POs.


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The yellow Minder icon against a black background on the homepage of the website for software engineering company Mindera.

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Global Software Engineering Company

Mindera is a global software engineering company. We're humans, techies, and have fun working together.

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