Lyndsay Burrill
Lyndsay Burrill
Recruiter
Manchester

DEPT® LIFE

DEPT® LIFE: Product Owner

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Ever wondered what a Product Owner gets up to at a global digital agency? Liv gives an insight into her role and what excites her most about it, as well as why she loves working at DEPT®. 

Name: Liv Kemp 
Role: Product Owner 
Time at DEPT®: 9 months
Years in the industry: 5 years

Sparking the passion

I studied international business at university and although my degree didn’t specifically lead me into the world of product management, it did spark my passion for collaboration, analysing data and solving problems. My first role after graduating was on a product ownership graduate scheme and the rest, as they say, is history! 

I started at DEPT® back in October 2021 as a Product Owner and I’ve had the pleasure of working with an array of different clients including London Marathon Events, Ascot and Nikon.

Discover, define and deliver

Depending on what projects I’m working on, I will either be on a project in discovery, definition or build stages. The discovery phase involves refining ideas and understanding client and user problems and needs. The aim is to learn as much as possible so that we can reduce the risk around what we decide to build. We typically begin this phase by working with clients to understand what problems they are trying to solve with their product as well as their high level objectives. Then depending on the problem we might undertake a number of different research activities such as focus groups, user research and data analytics to delve deeper.

In the definition phase, we figure out exactly how we plan to solve our client or user problems. Much of my time in this phase is spent running client workshops to gain more understanding of their requirements and breaking down large business and user requirements into “stories” that the development team can effectively deliver on, which at DEPT® we call ‘specs’. 

In the build phase I typically spend a lot of time managing and prioritising the backlog, breaking work down into manageable chunks and clarifying requirements with the development team. Today I facilitated a refinement session to break down a large search/filter feature. As a team we discussed the design and each requirement one by one. We added additional details to tickets, broke them down into smaller manageable chunks and added estimates to ensure the work is delivered effectively and efficiently. 

What makes my role so interesting is that there’s no such thing as a typical day, no two days are the same and the type of work varies from project to project. 

I love that as a team you get to create and build things from scratch. Bringing something to life that was once just a concept is very rewarding! 

Deep diving

Working at DEPT® means you get to work on lots of different projects. I really enjoy starting a new project, especially during a ‘discovery’ phase and learning about different parts of the business, the problems we are aiming to solve and what users need in order to do their job, and this never ends. 

Over the past few weeks, I have been involved in discovery where I facilitated a number of workshops, user interviews and conducted research activities; all with the aim of shaping the vision for a new fitness app and defining user stories. 

We utilised the value vs complexity model to evaluate each requirement according to how much value it will bring and how much effort (development, risk, planning) implementing it will require. We learned which features we want to include in release one, as well what features we want to include in the product roadmap for future releases.

I’m surrounded by the most brilliant and lovely people at DEPT® that I have the pleasure of working with every day, making work even more enjoyable! 

A company that cares

What makes DEPT® different to any other company is that the business truly cares. DEPT® takes pride in looking after its employees and also really cares about the needs of their clients, working very collaboratively in close knit partnerships. 

And to top it all off, DEPT® is a Certified B Corp company, which means we are focused on having a positive impact on society as well as clients and employees. We’ve also recently hired our first Global Impact Manager to support our mission.
 
Are you looking to start a rewarding career? Take a look at our open roles and come and join the team! 

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