Product Owner

Willis Towers Watson - Buffalo, NY (30+ days ago)3.8

Willis Towers Watson technology teams rely on our Product Owners to clearly understand our business and customer objectives. The ideal Product Owner provides clarity by collaborating closely with business and technical stakeholders, vendors, and other involved parties to establish and evolve the vision for the product as it is delivered. Through the incorporation of feedback into the product development lifecycle, the Product Owner is able to guide the efforts of the business and technology to maximize delivered value and impact on the customer. The Product Owner should have strong servant leadership skills, a strategic and tactical product development background, a passion for technology, and a strong customer focus.

Strategically, the Product Owner is responsible for effectively delivering value to customers and the Business through the product. The Product Owner is a key participant in the portfolio, product, release, and sprint planning activities. Through those activities the Product Owner adaptively decides the direction to evolve the product to meet known and emerging customer needs and reflects that decision in product backlog prioritization, feature development sequencing, deployment strategy and market release. A Product Owner must be able to maintain a balance between business needs and technical realities.

Tactically, the Product Owner plays a significant role in eliciting and capturing product ideas from relevant stakeholders and converting them into potential features, requirements, and user stories to realize customer and business value. As a Product Owner you work with customers and stakeholders to understand the desired behaviors to be enacted through user stories and define the criteria used to determine when the story meets those conditions of satisfaction. The Product Owner also works with stakeholders and the development team during backlog grooming to refine user stories to meet the team’s definition of ready, to define sprint goals, and to promote a smooth flow of delivered value. During the sprint you work with the team to demonstrate and confirm with stakeholders that the executed story meets the conditions of satisfaction, identify any gaps or misunderstandings for future work, and ensure completion of work to the team definition of done.

Additional Responsibilities:
Encourage and drive a system perspective; understanding how their product fits into the overall vision of the entire product line.
Develop an intimate understanding of customer and user, their frustrations and problems, their needs, and how those can best be addressed.
Participate as part of the Product Owner community and share ideas to expand and improve the product owner practice within the company.
Understand sources of customer and business value and methods to deliver that value.
Be the voice of the customer and product stakeholders; effectively communicating customer needs and requirements and bridging the gap between the ‘what’ and the ‘how’.
Available to the team and product stakeholders to answer questions and deliver direction regarding story definition, acceptance criteria, stakeholder needs, product evolution and development priorities.
Work with the Scrum Master and stakeholders to create an environment that fosters creativity, exploration and innovation.
Understand and effectively apply story/requirement prioritization methods.
Understand and communicate the technical realities of delivering a potential solution.
Work with the development team to select a set of product backlog items aligned with the goal that the team can reasonably deliver by the end of the sprint.
Communicate and champion the product vision, evolution, and delivery across multiple teams as required.
Organize development and delivery for fast feedback and validated learning. The Requirements

2-3 years working in an agile environment as a Product Owner or Product Manager
Must be proficient in applying agile product development tools such as product canvases or charters, development roadmaps, story maps, impact maps, user models, and backlogs to guide a product concept through the product lifecycle with development teams and relevant stakeholders.
Comfortable with change and uncertainty and a strong ability to work through ambiguity.
Excellent agile planning and organizing skills.
Ability to collaborate, negotiate, build productive relationships, and create alignment with both internal and external stakeholders.
Excellent facilitation, interpersonal and presentation skills.
Ability to concisely communicate key issues/results in a manner appropriate to the audience, including the executive level.
Demonstrated experience with agile software development frameworks (Scrum preferred)