Thanks for this analysis Willem. Really good points, and I see many similarities with the way I like to operate.

I have been Product Owner in several teams, and one of my objectives has always been to become “redundant” in the eyes of my team. With redundant I mean:

  • my team has reached a maturity state where they do not need me to walk them through the product vision and strategy again, yet they understand what they do and why.
  • my team understands and can articulate users’ challenges as good as a Product Owner would do.
  • my team is autonomous enough (and feels trusted enough), as a group and as individuals to make decisions.

And then there’s everything else that keeps me busy and that the team won’t see (and that I don’t need them to see):

  • Stepping in if any of the points above slips and affects their day-to-day work (and particularly important if affects their career objectives and motivations).
  • Opening up their way within the organization by getting them the right visibility.
  • Ensuring they have what they need and when they need it in order to keep the momentum building.
  • Prevent or manage overlap and conflict with other teams.

In a way I see my success as killing my job by helping my team to succeed and to function seamlessly. I want to become the invisible hand that operates in the background and that helps them to grow. When I reach that point, I am ready to take on a new challenge.

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Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.

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