Interview with Keynote speaker John Le Drew

PO&RE18_John Le Drew


John,have you ever been to Switzerland?

To Zurich airport many times during transfer, but I’ve never actually visited the city – I only looked out of the airport window mournfully. I am very much looking forward to visiting the city during the European PO&RE Day very much.


You worked for nearly 20 years in IT, also in areas with Product Ownership responsibility. What was your experience?

I worked as a consultant for many years and during that time often took on the role of PO for teams I was supporting. Something I’ve done a lot more of recently is supporting POs. One of the biggest challenges I am helping people with is multitasking. Frequently POs have to split their attention between various teams.

The main challenge of a PO is attending multiple meetings – stand ups, planning sessions, retrospectives, and so on – leaving barely any time to actually do something.

This is a big challenge many organizations do not really seem to get.  Being the single wringable neck for four teams simultaneously is quite a brutal situation for a PO.


What will you talk about in your Keynote ‘The 5 Pillars of Collaborative Product Ownership’?

The main area is collaboration, which is kind of obvious coming from an agile background. There are certain things you can do to build a truly collaborative environment and make your life easier as a PO. You are trying to multitask, you are trying to do a lot of things all the time.

Empowering the team to take on some of the responsibility to support you more in that role, can be a really valuable thing to do. So I indetified these ‘5 Pillars of Collaborative Product Ownership’, which are areas that I hope will create teams that are more generally collaborative and supportive of their PO.


Find out more about John Le Drew and his ‘5 Pillars of Collaborative Product Ownership’ at the European PO&RE Day  on June 20, 2018.