Meet Lydia, a Product Owner at one of the world’s largest payments company

L2 Grayce Analyst, Lydia Tainty shares her experience as a Product Owner on client site as part of the Change+ Development Programme 

I joined the Change+ Development Programme in August 2020 and, after completing my initial bootcamp training, I soon started on client site, first within internal communications, followed by a second placement in Product. 

In my role as Product Owner, I help bridge the gap between technical delivery teams and the business/customers. I work to ensure that we remain focused on the business’s priorities and that the wider team and stakeholders are kept informed of the team’s progress. I do this by presenting translated technical information into easy-to-understand summaries on a bi-weekly basis.  

Working within a team who hadn’t previously had a dedicated Product Owner, I also play a large role in supporting their ways of working. So far, I’ve coached my team in scaled agile framework (SAFe) best practices. 

Joining the team as a Grayce Analyst, I could offer a fresh perspective and identify areas for improvement in ways of working, processes, and team cohesion.  

Identifying client challenges 

One of my team’s main challenges is that many of the pieces of work requested are of the highest priority, and it is a struggle to deliver on all of these initiatives. 

Another challenge is that many members of the team are remote and spread across different countries. Having colleagues in different time zones can result in limited time to collaborate, which, coupled with a lack of face-to-face communication, can reduce timely problem solving and smooth delivery.  

Succeeding on client site 

In order to successfully coach my team on SAFe practices and make them more efficient, I needed to quickly develop my own understanding. Through producing guidance documentation, helping improve team estimates, and facilitating weekly refinements, I helped improve our team’s working practices. Coupled with a thorough understanding of what work needs to be delivered and why, they can deliver quality work of high business value more efficiently. 

Continuous improvement is an important part of my role. To this end, several of my team sessions were observed by an experienced Scrum Master, who gave constructive feedback on ways to improve. I collated this information and framed it into guidance slides for use by my team and other colleagues. I then presented these ideas on both the Product Owner and Scrum Master Community of Practice sessions, sharing the slides so that other teams could benefit. 

Throughout my role, I also support Product Management in gathering and refining business requirements and translating these into pieces that are ready to be briefed into development teams. As a result of my high performance in this area, and in line with my self-development goals, I have since been asked to take on more product ownership on certain projects. 

Wraparound support 

Grayce’s support network is extensive and strong. Through the Grayce community, I’ve gained invaluable support from other Analysts, particularly the three others in or my team on client site. Whether that’s through sharing our successes, advising one another on challenges, or more general moral support. Another key part of the support network is the Grayce Delivery Managers. By offering advice from an external perspective on certain issues, I was supported well through any difficulties.  

The initial training offered by Grayce also meant I had a strong foundation of knowledge. My training included BCS Business Analysis, Product Owner, and Scrum Master qualifications. 

The efficiency of the Grayce Solution 

Grayce Analysts are of high calibre. As a group, and individuals, Analysts are conscientious, fast learners, who give everything to the role and can therefore quickly make a difference in their teams. The value of Grayce’s training model, in nurturing talent, means we are a competitive alternative to other, more costly, contracted resources. Grayce Analysts offer a reliable means to fill gaps in the workforce. 

The model Grayce offers works as a talent pipeline, we develop quickly into more experience team members, who can then be taken on full time. We are then in place to support and mentor new Grayce Analysts who come into backfill the more junior roles. 

Client feedback 

“In just over 6 months, our Grayce Analysts have already pushed their role boundaries and supported more than 1 scrum team, closing gaps and adding extra value to the business. The Analysts we do have on site, are committed to team spirit, take part in community events, and work to foster great relationships with the wider team.” 

Find out more about our Development Programmes here

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