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Product Owners are the visionary driving force behind product development efforts, playing a crucial part in their success. Yet this role is so difficult it is overwhelming for many without proper support.
Head of Product
To manage the development of a great product requires time, experience, instinct, self-confidence, humility, independence and collaboration skills, among other things. Doing this role well will require battling our own perfectionist and people-pleasing drivers, becoming comfortable with uncertainty and experimentation and never knowing the “right answer” for certain.
The Product Owner sets the vision for why the product should exist and what value it adds to the world. They also create a list of actionable deliverables that will incrementally get us closer to that vision while adding value along the way. And they also work with the Developers and other stakeholders to evolve the product based on what we learn along the way…simple.
In short, yes. We have cohorts who effectively create a Navigator Backlog that they keep up to date and prioritise so the Guide can come prepared with exercises, activities and tools to elaborate on certain topics.
We sometimes identify a couple of extra topics that the sponsors or delegates are already aware of that are outside of the learning objectives of the Explorer and Adventurer workshops. There’s no reason why we can’t build those in to the Navigator Sessions in advance before signing off on the Pathway.
If in doubt get in touch with one or more of our Licensed Guides to discuss this more.
There are a few benefits to leaving this proportion of the Pathway undefined:
It is emergent learning. As mentioned already, our Guides are experienced practitioners and coaches as well as trainers who can react to the unpredictable and provide real value in the moment.
It helps establish habit. A huge part of the philosophy of our Pathway approach is to help our learners get into a habit of continual learning, application and reflection. By having a Navigator session every 1-4 weeks helps establish a ritual and after a while this becomes an unconscious habit of continual improvement.
It is pull-based. Agile approaches are more “pull-based” than “push-based”. We tend to pull what we need when we need it (features, materials, stories, learning) rather than predict what we will need in advance.
It spreads out the learning. As well as allowing for reflection on previous learning it avoids learning overload by spreading it out over time.
This can be flexibly agreed with your Licensed Guide and each cohort can decide on a different approach based on their circumstances. Ultimately though there are 15 hours worth of coaching sessions that can be used. Most cohorts tend to have one session per month and may even spread them out over longer than six months. Some go for fortnightly sessions.
Some topics are quite easy to predict in a way because some topics stand out as more important than others in the Explorer Workshop. It almost becomes inevitable then that we use a Navigator Session to explore that in more depth or detail.
Other topics emerge that sometimes surprise me. We’ve run Navigator Sessions on the following (these are not exhaustive):
The Navigator Sessions are a set of unscripted sessions built in along the Pathway where we don’t push content at you but rather meet you where you are and coach you on the specific challenges you have been tackling or are about to tackle in your unique agile transformation.
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