Hannover, 7 June 2024


A look behind the scenes  

In our industry, as in many others, the Product Owner (PO) plays a crucial role in the development and delivery of products. But what exactly does a Product Owner do, especially in a dashboard development project? In this article, we give an insight into the practice and take a look behind the scenes. 

The role of the product owner  

The order for our team from a global pharmaceutical company was clear: to develop new dashboards. Our Senior Consultant Marcos was assigned the role of Product Owner for this project.   

His main tasks include recording the requirements, translating them into specific tasks and managing the development process until the dashboards are completed. So much for the classic tasks of a product owner. But what exactly does that mean?  

  • Recording and refining requirements  
    The first step for Marcos as Product Owner is to precisely record the requirements from the business. This involves understanding all the wishes and needs of the stakeholders and documenting them so that developers know exactly what is required. This includes clarifying the need for the requirement, clarifying open questions and avoiding room for interpretation. Questions such as “Which business use case should be answered with a dashboard, a visualization or a key figure?”, “What do the various stakeholders want?”, “What data is required?” and “Is the data already available in the data warehouse?” must be answered.   
  • Planning and implementation  
    Once the requirements are clear, Marcos plans the sprints and breaks down the requirements into sprint-compatible work packages. He creates realistic schedules and assigns the tasks to the data warehouse team and the development team. This close coordination between the teams is crucial for the success of the project. Marcos acts as an interface between business and IT.  
    Another important aspect of his work is the creation of mock-ups. These visualizations of the future dashboards serve as orientation for everyone involved and help to shape the final design. In addition, an authorization concept is developed that defines who is allowed to see which data.   
  • Implementation of sprints and quality assurance  
    During the sprints, Marcos carries out regular reviews, tests individual functions or the dashboards and ensures that all errors are rectified. After the successful completion of a sprint, there are status updates for the business stakeholders and, if necessary, adjustments to the planning.   

Behind the Scenes

Sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn’t really describe what a product owner does. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes of the more obvious tasks. This includes:

  • Communication and Coordination   

A large part of a Product Owner’s work is communication and coordination. Marcos is the single point of contact for the business, the data warehouse, and the development team. Business and IT often speak different “languages”. While the business is only interested in business results, the development team needs to understand the technical requirements.
Marcos brings both worlds together by having both the business background and technical understanding. In this context, one thing is very important:
always ask questions. Even when you think everything is clear. After all, there are always aspects that have not been considered, or it turns out that different people understand a technical term in very different ways.  

  • Implementing new standards and continuous improvement   

Based on his previous project experience, Marcos introduces new standards and plans and facilitates workshops to define meaningful KPIs for the dashboards to be developed. He solicits decisions from stakeholders and drives issues forward.   

  • Outlook: Empowering People    

The next step in our project described above is user enablement, where the new dashboards are delivered to end users and training sessions are conducted. But people enablement is more than “just training”. It means taking end users on a journey, engaging them, and taking them with you.  

After all, the best dashboards with valuable insights are useless if they are not understood and therefore not used. It is also important to motivate and encourage engagement.  


The Key Role of the Product Owner

The role of the product owner is much more than meets the eye. It is a demanding role that requires a mix of technical understanding, communication skills and strategic thinking, coupled with pharmaceutical and project experience.      

Transparency and clear communication about what the Product Owner is responsible for is critical to communicating the value of the role to the project and the organization. This also helps to get people on board and buy into collaboration and change.   

As this case study shows, every project involves a variety of tasks and close collaboration between different teams. The product owner plays a key role in translating the vision of the project into reality and ensuring that the end results meet the needs and expectations of stakeholders and are used in the real world.   

About me
Hello, my name is Marcos Garcia Villas. As a customer engagement expert I have gained diverse experience in the field of customer relationship management within the life sciences industry over the past 16 years. I provide our customers with in-depth process expertise to advise on customer engagement and next-best-action for their respective target audiences. I look forward to meeting with you in person to provide insight on how you can achieve successful engagement in the future.

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Check out our other blog articles about customer engagement!