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.