By Maggie Schneider Huston-Oracle on Apr 22, 2015
Let me paint you a picture: Cassie Powell, one of our fearless POs, suggested that I write a “day in the life of” blog for the Social Spotlight. I volunteered her as our first subject, because I really don’t know what she does all day. We set a meeting, and I asked for a rundown of her schedule to help me fill in the blanks. Not only did she provide me a minute-by-minute accounting of her day IN ADVANCE, she also had had her boss approve the schedule that she emailed to me.
Clearly, this lady is on her game.
Cassie Powell, Who Woke Up Like This
So What Do You Do?
Cassie: The best way to describe my job is like this: let’s say you go home and use X’s software. And the software works well, but you really want a button in the software that will produce a dancing unicorn every time you click it. That’s when you call me. I work with our people to give you a dancing unicorn button.
So How Do You Get That Done?
Cassie: Organization is essential. I’m extremely organized. There are lots of things that keep shifting and you can’t let anything fall through the cracks.
Good communication skills are a must: I need to be able to speak with executives to give them updates and also talk to our developers effectively. <laughs> Those groups speak differently, and I’ve got to reach them all.
Finally, I think you need to be able to see the big picture. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds (which is really important, actually) but you also need to see the forest, too. You need to see it all: weeds, trees, and forest.
So What Does an Average Day Look Like?
9:00 - 9:30am - Arrive into office
9:30 - 10:00am - Looking at any new bugs that came in over night. Figure out where they need to go in the queue to be fixed.
10:00 - 10:30am - Write proposal to Creative giving them two options on how we want to display something in the product
10:30 - 11am - Two daily stand ups with my development teams. Figure out how things went over the last 24 hours... if they are on track, if they have any questions for me on things they are working on...
11:00 - 11:30 - Prepare for a presentation I am doing later in the day on a new feature we are going to release soon
11:30 - 12:30 - Team demo. Team shows me everything they have worked on during the last two weeks. I see for the first time a feature that is coming out in a few months. Very exciting! Have some feedback and have some to dos for myself that came out of this meeting. Followup with our doc writer and get some copy approved.
12:30 - 1:00 - Eat while perusing emails
1:00 - 1:30 - Demo our new feature to our internal folks
1:30 - 2:00 - Meeting with my development manager to go over a couple technical tickets that she put in. She explained what was going on and my action item is to write the stories and prioritize in the team's backlog.
2:00 - 3:00 - Release meeting where we go over releases from last week and releases that are coming up in the next few weeks. We update if they are on track and if we have any risk to sort through.
3:00 - 3:30 - Meeting with my Product Manager for one of the teams that I work on. We review the current features that are in the works as well as what is coming up. She gets updates on if everything is on track.
3:30 - 4:00 - Have a meeting with a couple Product team members. We put together a proposal to change something in the product that gives users a better experience.
4:00 - 4:30 - Have a call with another Product team member. He is taking on a new project that I was a part of, and I am giving him a rundown on the backstory as well as where we are now with this project.
4:30 - 5:00 - Head home
5:00 - 6:00 - Answer emails. Do a few action items from meetings today.
So What Are Some Characteristics of a Good PO?
A good PO is someone that can meld the company vision and the user experience into one. Ultimately, we want to deliver great products AND experiences to the user. Therefore, a good PO needs to be passionate about great products while having empathy for the user. They need to be flexible enough to work with shifting demands but decisive when necessary… which is pretty often. Bottom line, they need to be a “fixer.”
Do you think you have what it takes to be a Product Owner at Oracle Social Cloud? Apply at Oracle.com/Careers