As the software product owner, you are the most important person of the project. You give the vision, the details of what the software needs to do, the direction on how the software should look, and the approval to move forward at each milestone.
Although it sounds like a lot, in a well-managed project, it can be easy and fun with a minimal demand on your time. In this article, we will explain at a high level your role in each phase of a software project so you know what is expected of you at each step.
The Software Project Start
The start of the software project is where you will spend most of your effort. This is when you explain what you want in enough detail so that your team can clearly document the application. If you have sketches, wireframes or other documentation that explains your ideas, great! Bring them with you, but it isn’t a must-have to get started.
The documentation your team produces serves two important purposes:
- It allows you to confirm your team has understood and captured what you want in its entirety
- It provides the development team with instructions on what to build for you
You can expect to spend 8-16 hours of your time meeting with your team, answering their questions and reviewing the documentation they produce.
The Software Project Middle
The middle of your software project is where the application gets built. During this time, you will watch the software start to form with screens and functionality being added as the project progresses. Expect to spend an hour or two ever one to two weeks reviewing the progress, answering questions, and following up on the overall timeline and budget projections.
Answering questions and getting providing business decisions goes a long way in helping your software project team deliver your application as quickly as possible.
The Software Project End
Once the software is working, you will be asked to confirm it meets your documented requirements. You can spend a few days or a few weeks depending on how thorough you want to be, and how large or complicated the application is.
Most project plans target one to two weeks for you to conduct your inspection. You may only use a few hours or a few days during this period. It is really up to you.
After the Project
Once the software is ready for prime-time, you will want to think about the amount time you or your organization needs to allocate to user questions, training, and managing any on-going enhancements to the software.
The great thing about software is that it can grow and change as your business does. Being someone who is familiar with the project from the start, you are a great resource for collecting feedback and staying involved with future changes to the software.
These are the main responsibilities you will have as the product owner for a software project. It is a fun role to have; one where you directly get to impact how something gets built.
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