Director - eBusiness Product Owner

Hartford, Connecticut

Company Information
Solid reputation, passionate people and endless opportunities. That's Travelers. Our superior financial strength and consistent record of strong operating returns mean security for our customers - and opportunities for our employees. You will find Travelers to be full of energy and a workplace in which you truly can make a difference.

Job Summary
eBusiness is seeking a Product Owner for its Customer 360 technology platform. The Customer 360 platform will provide an intuitive, elegant and uniform interface for all aspects of the customer lifecycle, encompassing knowledge management, interaction management, transactional processing and analytics - enabling any contact center professional to answer customer & agent questions and deliver an exceptional experience. The platform will improve and simplify customer experience, deliver cross-channel consistency, improve operational efficiency, and enable resource flexibility.
As a member of the Agile Team, a Product Owner (PO) is responsible for defining Stories and prioritizing the Team Backlog to streamline the execution of program priorities while maintaining the conceptual and technical integrity of the Features or components for the team. The PO has a significant role in quality control and is the only team member empowered to accept stories as done. This role has significant relationships and responsibilities outside the local team, including working with Product Management, who is responsible for the Program Backlog, to prepare for the Program Increment (PI) Planning meeting.
The PO will provide direction to project team members and coaching/mentoring to less experienced team members. The PO operates under general/minimal supervision and manages one or more Business Analysts.

Primary Job Duties & Responsibilities
Preparation and Participation in PI Planning
  • As a member of the extended Product Management team, the PO is heavily involved in program backlog refinement and preparation for PI planning and also plays a significant role in the planning event itself. Before the planning event, the PO updates the team backlog and typically reviews and contributes to the program Vision, Roadmap, and content presentations.
  • During the event, the PO is involved with story definition, providing the clarifications necessary to assist the team with their story estimates and sequencing. The PO also drafts the team's specific objectives for the upcoming PI.
Iteration Execution
  • Maintaining the team backlog - With input from System Architect/Engineering and other stakeholders, the PO has the primary responsibility for building, editing, and maintaining the team backlog. Consisting mostly of user stories, it also includes defects and enablers. Backlog items are prioritized based on user value, time, and other team dependencies determined in the PI planning meeting and refined during the PI.
  • Iteration Planning - The PO reviews and reprioritizes the backlog as part of the prep work for Iteration Planning, including coordination of dependencies with other POs. During the iteration planning meeting, the PO is the primary source for story detail and priorities and has the responsibility of accepting the final iteration plan.
  • Just-in-time story elaboration - Most backlog items are elaborated into user stories for implementation. This may happen before the iteration, during iteration planning, or during the iteration. While any team member can write stories and acceptance criteria, the PO has the primary responsibility for maintaining the flow. There should be approximately two iterations' worth of stories ready in the team backlog at all times. More would create a queue, while less might inhibit flow.
  • Supporting Acceptance Test-Driven Development - POs participate in the development of story acceptance criteria, draft them when feasible, and provide examples.
  • Accepting stories - The PO is the only team member who can accept stories as done. This includes validation that the story meets acceptance criteria and has the appropriate, persistent acceptance tests, and that it otherwise complies its Definition of Done. In so doing, the PO also assures a level of quality, focusing primarily on fitness for use.
  • Understand enabler work - While POs are not expected to drive technological decisions, they are supposed to understand the scope of the upcoming enabler work and to collaborate with System and Solution Architect/Engineering to assist with decision-making and sequencing of the critical technological infrastructures that will host the new business functionality.
  • Participate in team demo and retrospective - As the person responsible for requirements, POs have an essential role in the team demo, reviewing and accepting stories. They also participate in the Iteration Retrospective, where the teams gather to improve their processes and are active in the Agile Release Train's Inspect and Adapt (I&A) workshop.
Program Execution
  • Iterations and Agile teams serve a larger purpose: the frequent, reliable, and continuous release of value-added solutions. During each PI, the PO coordinates dependencies with other POs. This often occurs in weekly PO sync meetings.
  • The PO also has an instrumental role in producing the System Demo for program and Value Stream stakeholders.
Inspect and Adapt (I&A)
  • Teams address their larger impediments in the I&A workshop. There, the PO works across teams to define and implement improvement stories that will increase the velocity and quality of the program.
  • The PI system demo is part of the I&A workshop. The PO has an instrumental role in producing the PI system demo for program stakeholders.
  • To ensure that they will be able to show the most critical aspects of the solution to the stakeholders, POs also participate in the preparation of the PI system demo.
Metrics and Analytics
  • The PO is responsible for working with appropriate areas to ensure that metrics to measure the health, utilization and value of their assigned solutions are identified, coded for, tested and available post-implementation
  • On an ongoing basis, the PO has an instrumental role in producing metrics and analyses of their assigned solutions for program and value stream stakeholders.

Minimum Qualifications
High School diploma or equivalent required. 5 years of project management experience required.

Education, Work Experience & Knowledge
Bachelor's degree in Business, MIS, CIS, or other related field preferred. 10+ years' experience developing and supporting business technology systems and 5+ years' experience in a leadership role on software delivery projects preferred. Experience in Agile Development methodology preferred. Expertise and experience in Digital Capabilities is also preferred.

Job Specific & Technical Skills & Competencies

Analytical Thinking (Master): Identifies current or future problems or opportunities, analyzes, synthesize and compares information to understand issues, identifies cause/effect relationships and explores alternative solutions to support sound decision making.

Facilitation (Master): Uses and adjusts style and technique to assist group process and understanding.

Communication (Master): Demonstrates effective verbal, written, and listening communication skills.

Teamwork (Advanced): Works together in situations when actions are interdependent and a team is mutually responsible to produce a result.

Relationship Management (Advanced): Seeks out, builds, fosters and maintains productive relationships, networks or alliances to meet goals and achieve results.

Business Perspective (Master): Uses knowledge of internal and external factors impacting the property casualty industry to make decisions.

Technology (Advanced): Uses, leverages and maintains proficiency with corporate and job specific technology as it evolves (e.g., hardware, software, business unit applications and systems tools).

Conflict Management (Advanced): Brings conflicts into the open and resolves them collaboratively.

Change Management / Resilience (Master): Remains energized and focused in the face of ambiguity, change or strenuous demands.

Risk Taking (Advanced): Identifies, assesses, manages and takes intelligent risks to attain objectives

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Travelers is an equal opportunity employer.
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About Travelers

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading property casualty insurer selling primarily through independent agents and brokers. The company's diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage in the auto, home and business settings. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $25 billion in 2010.