A day in the life of a Product Owner

May 14, 2020

Written By

Tommy Mortberg

Head of Pre-Sales

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Catching up with Paddy, an ENSEK Product Owner

We chatted with Paddy O'Donoghue, one of our Product Owners to see why he joined ENSEK, what his role looks like and how he's working to improve our products for customers.

Paddy, tell us about why you decided to come to ENSEK?

I had only recently moved from working for a large, global company to a smaller, more dynamic type of organisation and was thoroughly enjoying the change in mindset and approach you tend to get with this type of move. An opportunity had then arisen with ENSEK, who I was already familiar with due to seeing the company in the top 50 fastest growing small/medium size UK businesses and through some word of mouth. What I knew about ENSEK was that it was an incredibly fast paced and growing company which may seem slightly daunting to some people, however this is the type of environment I relish so I don’t get bored too easily! That has certainly not been the case! In the end it seemed like too good a fit to ignore, starting with the working environment, followed by the positive and collaborative culture aspect that was reinforced by everyone I met in my subsequent interviews.

We have Product Managers and Product Owners here. How would you describe the difference between the two at ENSEK?

The real key difference in these two roles is the Product Manager will deal with more of the strategic aspects of life at ENSEK and the product roadmap priorities over the coming months, whereas the Product Owner will drive sprint priorities within the product team and have a much more hands on approach with the day to day work, in addition to shaping and streamlining the ways of working to increase efficiency.

I know no two days are the same here, but give us a rough idea what a typical day looks like as a Product Owner?

I always like to start the day with a review of the previous day and then a plan of the current one which sets up nicely for my standup meetings with the product team. I’m sure anyone that has worked in an agile environment will be very familiar with this! The rest of my day will always be a blend of working with Developers and Testers to direct and progress work items in our current sprint, liaising with other stakeholders about current and future work and usually one of the agile ceremonies such as refinement or sprint planning. This is always interspersed with plenty of coffee!

What is the best thing about your job and tell us why it’s so good?

I love the collaborative culture at ENSEK, particularly as it is a stark contrast to some of my previous experiences in larger organisations, where I’ve encountered a resistance in some teams to share best practice. Here, there is a real willingness to discuss and share examples of things that have worked really well, or not so well in an effort to help everyone. One of the aspects of this particularly enjoy is that I often find this is done in a really proactive manner and not in a rigid, forced meeting that has been set up for that purpose. I have found this really helps put you at ease when you need some advice from peers or colleagues at any level.

And finally, what do you think is the most important skill you need to be a Product Owner?

Flexibility is crucial and that applies in several guises. Whether it be with changing priorities, dealing with stakeholders, members of the product teams, or ways of working. Being able to approach things with an open mind and have the ability to adapt helps smooth any shift in direction with both work and people.

ENSEK are currently on the search for a new Product Owner. If you're looking to join the team, click below and get in touch.

Have a query? Click the link below to get in touch.