Meet Andy - A Product Owner emerged from the cocoon breach


Everyone might have turning points in their career path, Andy, a PO rising from an IT Comtor, is no exception. The previous Andy was dismantled by finding a proper environment to develop herself and define her path. Today, in this familiar strange Forwardians' Stories, let's have a talk with Andy.

Resembling other Forwardians, Andy possesses numerous talents a few members can realize. First of all, her charming aura prevails everywhere she sets her foot, chases dark clouds away and lures sunshine. Andy is also a linguistic reservoir, or a polyglot for being able to use hitherto at least Korean, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, English, and Russian language.

Hello Andy, may we know about your role before Accelerator? Rumor has it that you were an IT Comtor. Please do tell us.
Yes, when Andy was an IT Comtor, Andy was solely in charge of 4-5 projects. Spec definition, spec confirmation, test cases and API documents were what Andy was mostly working with. Albeit the majority of her performance was related to translation and interpretation, her career path seemed like a career fog, as foggy as Dalat - the city of fog.

At the time you first entered MFV, you stepped from an IT Comtor to an Accelerator. Were those two positions similar or different?
Is Accelerator a Comfort Zone or Fear Zone to you?
The similarities are that Japanese language proficiency is required and no knowledge of coding. But at MFV, Andy had the chance to experience the Scrum framework, participate in the process of analyzing specs with the development team. Through mutual trust and respect, the Accelerator role moved from the Fear Zone to the Comfort Zone in me.

Obstacles ignore no one, how did you overcome the difficulties of the role?
Andy had to create her own tasks and make sure they do not go off track from overall progress of the team. Andy also had to detect what the team needed to support in time. Because Andy doesn't know the code, the Accelerator needs to enhance the ability to think from the user point of view, and support the development team in terms of business.


Every job has its difficulties, but it must be interesting for Andy to stay and learn, so that Andy of today is more mature than Andy of yesterday. What are those interesting things?
The key to maturity is to get out of your cocoon. A caterpillar doesn't reach full maturity until it emerges from its cocoon an entirely new creature. Recently, Miss Khanh Van's "Kén em" national costume in Miss Universe 2021 has become an inspiration for many people, Andy resonates with that concept. The moment when Khanh Van trying to open the cocoon was a bit cumbersome, reminded Andy of the early days of struggling not knowing how to dwell with the team? Fortunately, the team always sympathized and patiently supported Andy. Product Perfection is a reflection of her growth process. Today’s Andy was made from the faith of everyone.


From Accelerator to PO, is it a sharp turn or not? What was the reason behind?
Not that sharp. It was rationally planned. This move was nourished by her when looking for a direction for someone who knew Japanese, wanted to acquire the business way of thinking but cannot code.

When you decided to have a cloak of a PO, did you think you will enter the Fear Zone again?
We shouldn't be afraid of what we don't know. Why have to when you have no clue. So PO is not really my Fear Zone, not to mention Andy always has fellows by her side. They always give Andy strength to carry on.


The joy of the new position, the joy of the Growth Zone?
The joy of Andy's new role is that here at MFV, no one is left behind. Andy in particular, and accelerator-cum-PO learner in general will support the team with business knowledge. The Develop team helps the PO understand the basic logic required for product development. This reciprocal relationship is the solid buttress for a product.

In the future, do you plan to practice any skills to improve your PO path?
Andy will practice the "Beiming Power - the power to absorb others' inner energy for one's own use" of Duan Yu - Prince of Dali Kingdom. This technique is to obtain more knowledge from the precedents, make it your own, deepen your brain grooves and expand your mind in many ways.

Well, last but not least, according to you to become a PO, what do you need, the necessary and sufficient conditions of a PO?
Necessary condition: Enthusiastic heart (情熱を込めている心)
Sufficient condition: Be decisive and responsible for our decisions.

Yes, last but not least, do you have anything to say with people who are still confused with their career path or afraid to take on challenges or try new things?
If you feel like walking in the fog of your own mind, you should slow down, take one step at a time, and walk with the team, there is no need to rush. So that when things get tough and you feel like hiding, there are teammates who go find you. Difficulty means nothing if we are side by side. Why? Because you are not alone, your team will not let you have any space for hiding. Like a flower cannot make a garden, we cannot go far without our team.


Thank you Andy for your precious time. I am so glad and grateful for your sincere sharings. A sparkling future lies before you, welcoming you to new and fantastic things. May all your dreams be fulfilled and flourished.

Author: Jim