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Product owner

"Better to ask twice than to go astray once."

Becoming a product owner

Projects outside of IT

Thomas’ career began in the automotive industry, where he worked on projects first as a project assistant and later as a project coordinator for various leading car manufacturers. At first it didn’t have much to do with the IT industry, the only points of contact with software development up to that point were during his studies.

Barely started, already in the middle of it

In 2019 Thomas started at COMbridge in a project as an interface between customer and development. With a customer in Germany and the nearshore developers in Voronesh, he experienced for the first time that communication is the be-all and end-all of every project. With the advantage of having Russian and German as mother tongues, Thomas concentrated not only on passing on information, but also on discussing it.

“It makes no sense to forward information to development only via tickets or documents. Even requirements documents are often only half the truth, only once you’ve talked about them can you assume that everyone involved understood the same thing.”

The task of communicating between the customer and development grew into a multifaceted challenge that no longer only included communication, but also planning, presentation of results and the driving of various topics.


My first own project

“When I was then able to acquire another project myself during my project time, all these areas that I had been responsible for benefited me. The new project was about automatic on-board network testing and I was allowed to take over the management. So I was a product from day 1 Owner, Scrum Master, Coordinator and Project Manager.”

The first project of his own is doing well and more follow, Thomas also likes to remember the night shifts when it was stressful, getting together with colleagues after work and watching juniors how they develop further in the project work.

Responsible for the product - communication as a task

Summing up his work as a product owner, Thomas says: “It’s better to ask twice than to go astray once. It doesn’t matter whether I’m starting a new project or taking over in the middle. I ask, ask and ask until I understand everything. Then I make sure that everyone involved has understood the same thing. At the beginning of the project you can set the rough goals, but that is only an approximate direction. Monthly, detailed check-ups with customers and developers are needed to find out “What is the goal” to be defined more and more.”

Thomas has learned that as a product owner you are responsible for a product, but comprehensive communication is still the main task.

“I can only expect good work if I have formulated the tasks well, made sure that everyone understands what needs to be done and that everything is properly documented. If I describe badly, I will get bad code back. Communication is everything.”



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