In this episode of the podcast I chat with Stephan van Maris, Product Owner of the Clang e-mail marketing platform at E-Village. Stephan has a technical background and developed himself from one of the core engineers to Product Owner who is now letting go of the technical details to focus on improving the product through customer collaboration.

In the 5 parts to this interview (new experiment!) we discuss:

1. Introduction, path to current role, context (organization) and mandate level as a Product Owner;

2. Collaboration with the Scrum Team – Stephan shares how he works with the development team and scrum master, and tells a story of their approach for better alignment in developing and designing a new module, by collaborating as a team on the ideation and possible realization, resulting in the new module’s backlog items as a team effort (instead of being a solo-PO act);

3. Stakeholder Management – Stephan discusses how he engages both the internal stakeholder field as well as the external stakeholders through regular contact & customer feedback events;

4. Value Steering – We discuss the current efforts to close the feedback loop by introducing metrics for value steering. Up till now Stakeholder discussions and subsequent decisions were based on hypothetical returns and gut feeling, but by implementing a low cost usage statistic tool (Piwik), now the backlog decisions are based on data and this is influencing decisions and discussions already;

5. Closing – We discuss how Stephan deals with technical debt, NFR’s and the bouyscout rule used by the development team. Furthermore after mentioning culture a few times in the earlier parts,¬†Stephan shares a Netflix presentation that gave him valuable insights for developing the E-Village culture.


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