” Here are some peacock feathers just for you” and I gave them to her. She snorted and punched me with a friendly grin. “Yeah right!”
Then I brought these out for her. “Now thats’ my gal” she said and took them to examine the beautiful eyes made of blue, green and brown feathers.
Obviously, she is an end user with no level of expertise on how the product came into being or the lead time (delay) or iterations or even the diet of the peacock. She was happy to receive the feathers.
But what if she was someone who was interested in the health of the peacock from the beginning? She could have found clues embedded in the first or the second set of feathers and would have been engaged from the beginning.
Does the first few sets of feathers show good health? Good nurturing? Are the feathers falling too quickly?
That is exactly how we want our product ownership to be.
An amazing product ownership team is engaged from early on. Their eyes and ears listen. They feel. They are in love with the product. Their passion runs deep. They are the product persona. They know the earliest possible moment when a products’ health can be identified. They need not wait for the demo or an iteration.
They develop an innate sense of “product smell”.
They have a raging passion for the product, but they are like air and water. Everywhere and nowhere. They should be able to come and go as they please, and cause as little damage as possible.