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Project Manager or Product Owner for a small team?

Project Manager or Product Owner for a small team?
Both Product Owners and Project Managers can do a lot of work done well.

Whether you are a project manager or a Product Owner in a small company with a small team and project, the main thing you need to do to instill confidence in your new boss is not to speak complex phrases that lead to confusion and confusion.

Use simple and easy terms to be able to explain to him what kind of people you need and what are the pros and cons of your situation and organization.

A strong team of programmers and designers for our project

The main topic we will start with is that we have a very strong team of programmers who are competent and understand their work. Proof of this is the many mobile applications that our client uses and has developed by us.

Also, the team of graphic designers is also quite strong. Proof of this is again the mobile applications used by our customers.

These are the strengths of our company, we have well-developed teams that have the competence to develop successful mobile products. Proof of this is the trust of our customers and the fact that he wants another of his products to be developed by us.

Agile Product development and Project Management processes

But what else do we need? In order to be able to work fully, the main idea is to find a process that will suit our company. We do not have to blindly follow Agile methodologies

As we know, in order for a company to start applying Agile methodologies, it will take time and effort on the part of our employees. For this reason, it is good to introduce the process gradually – as a start, we can start with daily meetings to monitor our progress and in this way to be able to make sure that each colleague on the team knows who is working on what task. 

Also, every 2 weeks, for example, we can create a tradition of making retrospectives (aka retrospective meetings). The idea of ​​these retrospectives is to discuss with the team what we liked during this sprint, what we did not, and what we can improve. In this way, we will be able to build a team that can improve and works actively on its development.

Facilitate the development process

In order to facilitate the development process, I will also propose to open a new position. This does not need to happen immediately, but we can keep it in mind.

In my previous career, I was also involved in programming and before I started a project management course I had no special idea of ​​business and its essence. I didn’t guess why these meetings were, they seemed quite meaningless and stressful. I also found some roles meaningless. 

Product Owner

However, over time, one changes one’s views. Therefore, I would suggest opening a position – Product Owner. Why this will be useful to us here and why it is important to have this competence.

The Product Owner is the person who will monitor the backlog of our team, will be able to schedule the tasks, and will verify whether these tasks meet customer requirements. Also, the appointment of such a person will facilitate the work of our programmers, will save them time in wandering in looking for and demanding criteria, to write down their tasks, and to verify them themselves.

Collect the requirements from the client

This is exactly my task here – to collect the requirements from the client, to prepare the necessary documentation, and to ensure communication between us, the client, and you as a manager, so that we can have transparency in the development of the project.

At the moment, I think it is unnecessary to go into details about what necessary documents we will need, in general, my idea at the beginning is to get to know each other and be able to build a system to work on, as my main idea is to have the following structure:

Product Owner of a team of developers – responsible for the creation and verification of tasks, building acceptance criteria, takes care of the product backlog of the team. Reference: What Makes a Good Product Owner and What they do?

Product Owner of a graphic design team – again responsible for creating tasks and verifying whether they meet the customer’s requirements, building acceptance criteria, care for the product backlog of the team of graphic designers.

A team of designers, such as this team to have a senior manager

A team of developers, such as this team to have an excellent leader

Communicate requirements and unclarity

Of course, the teams will actively communicate with me and ask questions about the requirements, if there are any unclear things, I am always available and I can arrange a meeting with the client and help with what is needed. This is also my role – to communicate with the client, to monitor the implementation of deadlines, if there are various delays, to be able to help eliminate them and the project does not get stuck.

Team of QA engineers

The last thing I would give as a recommendation and which we do not have as competence in our company is a team of QA engineers. This is extremely important for the verification of the product itself, whether it corresponds to the quality and whether any defects have been created. By recruiting a team of QA specialists, we will be able to build a safe and stable product that will have far fewer defects.

The simplicity of expression is a great topic. In fact, it would be good to be a regular practice with all the people around and constantly.

Professionals are a really strong asset.

The Product Owner role is a great idea for any product. As long as, of course, he has all the necessary competencies for the specific needs of the project and the product. Just to schedule tasks and check the requirements can handle a lot of people. Prioritizing product needs, working, and focusing on the important and eliminating the insignificant can be said to be an important activity for the Product Owner role.

Product Owner of the development team and design team is an interesting practice that has recently been observed among many organizations. At first glance, this seems meaningful and important. Again, however, we come to the topic of tasks and validation, which again makes these roles incomplete.

Below you have identified team leaders. Realistically, these are two more positions that can be duplicated with design and development Product Owner

QA teams are of course always needed and “mandatory”.

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