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Meet Movio: A Day In The Life Of A Product Owner

I’m Cristina and I am a product owner for the Blue Squad in the Movio Cinema team. I'm in charge of the product’s roadmap, defining the stories we plan to build, and prioritising the team’s backlog. At Movio I’ve learned quickly that no two days are the same, but here is a look at the flow of my usual workday!

8:50 AM - First stop: coffee. Almost everyone here loves the stuff, and I am no different. Usually, I grab a cup from the cafe next door and then get onto checking my email and messages. I interact a lot with the overseas offices and, given the time zone differences, these communication channels are perfect for finding out what happened overnight. Any issues raised, or generic questions the overseas teams may have, are looked at and responded to at this point in the day. If there are any outstanding messages, I try to prioritize them as soon as possible so that I can get those concerned a fast resolution.

9:30 AM - Next, we have our Blue Squad ‘stand-up’. This is my favourite meeting of the day, as it helps me get up to speed with my team’s progress. We currently use Kanban (Agile methodology) to structure our stand-up and our JIRA Kanban board is always displayed during this meeting. This allows us to see our immediate backlog, works-in-progress, and issues that require code review. We briefly update other teammates on the status of each issue on the board, and set some goals for the day. This time is also taken to cover support issues that have arisen since the last stand-up. Priority for any remaining tasks-in-progress are assessed, and we discuss the impact each has on the rest of our workload. If the team needs further clarification on anything, we dive a bit deeper at the end of the meeting to ensure everyone is clear. Once a week we have a Squad retrospective meeting where we try to analyze the past week's progress, and set goals for the next seven days. This keeps us focused and allows us to communicate better as a team.

10:00 AM - I often catch up with Tiana, Movio Cinema’s product marketing manager, to discuss any new developments or changes in the software so that she can organise the appropriate communication. Tiana is responsible for all of the amazing feature guides, user manuals, and training videos we supply to clients, so it’s important she has a strong understanding of what we are working on. I update Tiana on the progress of the current work, so that she can plan the marketing collaterals in plenty of time.

11:00 AM - Around this time, I try to spend an hour getting all the product updates finished in JIRA. We use this issue tracker tool to follow progress on development and projects the team are working on. I spend this time adding new user stories to future work and reading issues created by others that are requesting some new functionality. Today, we had to reprioritize a development which had been blocked by third party dependencies that are now resolved. Alongside this, I am following up on a retrospective meeting my team had earlier in the week. We are in advanced stages of implementation for a new module in Movio Cinema, and are making sure all the development aspects are covered before release.

12:15 PM - Lunch time! I usually try to bring something healthy from home, but I do occasionally indulge in the culinary offerings from surrounding cafes and restaurants. Once a month I tag along to the #FriedChickenFriday club we have at Movio, the aim of which being to find the best fried chicken in town! We may be switching this quest up in 2017 to, instead, pursue the perfect burger - watch this space.

1:00 PM - Time for design catch-up on the new feature. Given the end stage we are at with the current project, we need to ensure all of the design work is ready for completion, too. This usually gets carried out by myself, Laura (our UX designer), and our front-end developer. We go through the designs and make sure everyone is happy with the design implementation, before moving straight onto the next module’s functionality. This meeting is important to make sure that we are all moving at the same pace and are on track. If our opinions ever differ, we like to get other teams involved and offer their thoughts. This is a highly collaborative process and we try to choose the solution that is the easiest for the end user.

3:00 PM - Support triage. Part of my job is to make sure that any issue that arises in the Blue Squad’s part of the software is analyzed and fixed. I take another look at JIRA mid-afternoon to check on our support project and see if any further issues have been raised. I do an initial analysis, assess urgency and prioritize them accordingly. This will trigger an issue’s order on our work-in-progress.

4:00 PM - I like to spend afternoons researching new features. Movio Cinema houses many features, therefore I’m constantly trying to learn more about it and work out the logical steps in adding new functionality. Every new feature on our roadmap will be scoped and discussed extensively with our internal and external stakeholders. This usually happens via email or conference calls for our overseas customer-facing teams, and by meeting face-to-face with the local teams. Depending on the project, this can happen a few times a week.

5:00 PM - At the end of my day, I check back in on my email and communications. I try to ensure all queries from our overseas offices are responded to and dealt with before heading home, as this keeps the process moving for everyone involved.

5:30PM - Time to go home or, if it’s a Monday, head straight for the park to get involved in the weekly touch rugby game. I try to stay active so, if I haven’t participated in Run Club or yoga class run by Movio, I definitely make time to team up with the rest of the crew for a game of social touch rugby - it’s a great way to wind up a Monday!

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