My team and I are taking a new direction this week: technical discovery! For me, this one is going to be particularly challenging, as I have a lot less experience working with the technical details of a proposed solution. Since I come from an operational background in hospitality, my area of expertise is truly the business and functional side of things. Of course, I know how the system works, what sort of integration and downstream systems play a part, but all of that knowledge is very much from the eyes of a user – not of a technology savvy expert.
Working on this project, of course I have learnt a few things about the underlying technology of it all, I would have to be deaf and blind not to, but I am looking forward to learning more. As a product owner, I always feel a little bit silly, that I don’t understand all the jargon, that I sometimes make suggestions that seem totally logical from a user perspective but really are not the best idea technically. I often wish I really knew what goes on in the minds of our Solution Architects when investigating different options and what influences their decisions. Hopefully, working on this effort to explore the technical intricacies will get me one step closer.
In addition, I hope to get an inside look into how the technical team comes up with their estimations for a particular item or feature. I can pretty much get whether an estimate sounds reasonable or completely crazy, but that’s about the extent of it at this point. Most of the time, that level of understanding is perfectly fine, especially in my organization, where all of the budgeting efforts are done and dusted before a new feature or project makes its way onto my desk, but at the same time, I am always curious to learn more, understand more and be able to contribute. Plus, it really would make me better as a product owner, allowing me to make smarter and more informed decisions when prioritizing the backlog and understanding the capacity of our scrum teams.
So, who knows? I feel like at the end of this, I might have a whole new appreciation for all the technicalities.