For a service, application or feature to be successful, it must be valuable to those paying for it, usable (and desirable) to those using it and feasible to deliver given the resources available. These three concerns are often managed by different people, with different skills. It is important that the decision making regarding all three are coordinated and this is a central concern of the Product Owner.
The customer team fulfils product ownership responsibilities by bringing together expertise from both the stakeholder and delivery team domains.
The goal of the Product Owner and customer team is to ensure the resulting product is valuable, usable and feasible:
Valuable – the product delivers benefit to the organisation funding it. The Product Owner looks to deliver products that deliver the most value to the funding organisation. To do this, the team works with stakeholders to drive out the MVP.
Usable – the product must be both desirable and usable enough to use. UX skills help translate the product vision into a description of a tangible product that’s usable and desirable. UX Designers, Business Analysts (BA) and content developers work with subject matter experts (SMEs) to understand details of the product to be built. To do this, the team engage directly with the end users and business stakeholders to build up a picture of the users’ needs and the business context.
Feasible – building the product must be feasible and cost-effective. Decisions made without explicit collaboration with those who build the product are risky. Involving Technical Architects (TAs), tech leads, developers and testers in the entire discovery and planning process exposes potential delivery risk sooner and maximises the opportunities available.