Product Owner III

Job Description

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Join a team of diverse professionals at Farmers to acquire skills on the job and apply your learned knowledge to future roles at Farmers. Farmers Insurance also offers extensive training opportunities through the award winning University of Farmers named by Training magazine amongst top 10 corporate training units in the world.

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Job Summary 

Takes a fully independent lead in several areas of product development by following the principles of Agile to manage the team backlog, anticipate and prioritize needs, oversee development stages, act as a primary liaison and evaluate product progress. Serves as the customer proxy; works collaboratively with business owners and other stakeholders to accomplish these tasks with little to no support with a high volume of work and increased complexity. Utilizes strong understanding of the business vision to to regularly contribute and manage execution. Heavily influences the business owner's requirements, the Product Manager's program vision and roadmap while introducing new and useful tools and practices to drive continuous improvement. Provides overall leadership to Product Owner team through mentorship and guidance and provides back up to Product Manager, as needed. 

Essential Job Functions 

Applies basic scientific practice within iterations in order to routinely plan, do, check and adjust. Manages team backlog items and prioritizes based on business value. Outlines dependencies and informs stakeholders the necessary sequence of development to ensure optimized performance and outcomes. Holds a significant role in quality control and is the primary team member empowered to accept stories as done. Utilizes advanced business knowledge, based on prior experience within business function, and communication skills to anticipate problems and address them accordingly. Works cross functionally in a self-organizing manner to accomplish tasks and effectively manage the backlog. Leads processes and procedure changes identified by teams by working with external business partners. Effectively applies critical thinking to identify flexibility in determining how and when each iteration and product element will be developed. Acts as primary communicator and connection between stakeholders, end users and teams determining if each story meets their shared e xpectations. Ensures collaboration from all stakeholders on decisions and strategy providing clear instructions and deliverables for developers. Takes ownership for each stage of the process and final product to ensure the goal and vision are correctly aligned with the work items on the backlog. Contributes strategic input into the prioritization of the program backlog, coordinates dependencies and manages the inspection and evaluation of product progress through each iteration. Drives the mitigation of program risks. Leads PO and/or ART sync meetings in addition to the system demo to show critical aspects of the solution. Leads in Inspect & Adapt (I&A) workshop to work across teams to define and implement improvement stories to increase program quality. A key member of the Agile team who utilizes perspective to define iteration goals and drives execution and delivery. Partners with the business owner to understand needs, manage scope and add/eliminate user stories while contributing heavy influence to build an effective strategy. Communicates requirements to Agile Team in a clear and collaborative manner to determine new requirements, negotiate teams and dependencies. Regularly interacts closely with the Product Manager in order to discuss goals and vision of the business/value stream, sharing extensive knowledge in order to make sound decisions. Heavily involved in the Program Increment (PI) planning, story definition and assists team with story estimates and sequencing. Oversees the development of the product to include planning, refinement, review, and execution. Partners with stakeholders to identify and organize steps required for next iteration. Works to gain clarity on queries and participate in the demo of committed items. Participates in ceremonies within the team to coordinate efforts with team to refine the process, identify areas for improvement and support the execution of tasks. Continuously keeps the end-user needs in mind based on higher level of business acumen to ensure the solution meets expectations and the development delivers expected outcomes from the accepted stories. Independently represents business owners' interest and prioritize user stories based on business value while maximizing agile team's capacity. Provides mentorship and guidance to PO I and II. Performs other duties as assigned. 

Physical Actions 
Physical Environment 

The following are standard requirements for all positions. When applicable, some positions may have additional requirements essential to a specific job. This position operates in an open office working environment which will include normal and customary distractions, noise, and interruptions. Sits or stands for extended periods of time, up to a full work shift. Occasionally reaches overhead and below the knees, including bending, twisting, pulling, and stooping. Occasionally moves, lifts, carries, and places objects and supplies weighing 0-10 pounds without assistance. Listens to, interprets, and differentiates auditory information (e.g. others speaking) at normal speaking levels with or without correction. Visually verifies and reads information. Visually locates material, resources and other objects. Ability to operate a computer for extended periods of time, up to a full work shift. Physical dexterity sufficient to use hands, arms, and shoulders repetitively to operate keyboard and other office equipment up to a full work shift.  

Education Requirements 

Bachelor's degree preferred. Product Owner certified (within 180 days of hire) required. 

Experience Requirements 

3-5 years experience in an Agile environment. 3-5 years experience in Product Owner role or minimum 1 year as a PO II. Demonstrated leadership experience. 

Special Skill Requirement 

Candidate qualifications may be reviewed against the requirements for the associated levels of this position's core function. Salary grade will be based on selected candidates' experience and skills.

Ability to lead/manage others. Performs work independently with minimal supervision. Possesses strong product knowledge. Possesses strong business and functional knowledge in the supported value stream based on prior experience. Strong verbal communication and listening skills. Excellent organizational skills. Possesses flexibility to work in a fast paced, dynamic environment. Ability to react quickly to change in direction. Develops and delivers effective presentations. Excellent collaboration and team building skills. Demonstrated written communication skills. Ability to effectively write user stories and break down features into user stories. Builds and manages effective teams. Ability to effectively handle multiple Agile teams as needed. 


Farmers is an equal opportunity employer, committed to the strength of a diverse workforce. 


Schedule: Full-time

Job Posting: 10/25/2019