“Meet the Team” is a new series that features the different roles at Antidot/Fluid Topics.
Today, we’re sitting down with Aude Lemar-Verrier, Product Owner to discuss her key role within our company.
Hi Aude! Tell me, when did you join Antidot/Fluid Topics? and why?
I joined Antidot as a Product Owner (PO), in September 2018. I had been working for a digital service company for 12 years. During my last project I worked with a small and agile team. I really enjoyed it. When it was time for me to move on, I looked for a similar challenge.
I really liked the environment Antidot offered: a software editor with international clients, a strong agile culture and dynamic teams. It was the perfect fit for this next stage in my career.
Could you describe the Product Team?
Fluid Topics has a team of 3 Product Owners and 2 UX/UI Designers, located mainly in our Lyon office.
When I started, I was actually the only Product Owner. Some of the engineering teams did not have a PO to work with. Laurent Dosdat came on as PO in January 2020 followed by Prisca Bonnet in December of the same year. We also team up with Valentin Guénichon and Thomas Derweduwen both UI/UX Designers.
Each PO follows 2 fully functional Agile teams at the same time. We also get to work with Product Managers, QAs, Customer Success, Marketing…It’s pretty diverse. A significant benefit of working together with other PO and teams within the same company is the continuous exchange of knowledge and experience.
What does a typical day at Fluid Topics involve?
The daily life of a PO is never dull. Working with such a great team of people with a mixed set of expertise never makes one day the same. Here are some of the tasks you can see me perform during a typical day:
- Review our Kanban board before stand-up,
- Attend both stand-up meetings (2 Agile teams equals 2 stand ups :-)),
- Help a team resolve a functional issue and make sure they have no blockers,
- Talk to business stakeholders to understand the work that needs to be prioritized in the backlog,
- Catch up with our UX Designers to analyze a specific customer need or discuss some improvements,
- Prepare a demonstration for a customer,
- Attend Retro or Planning ceremonies,
- Write our monthly Product Owner Newsletter.
In a fast-paced tech company, you obviously need to adapt to change and as a result, these tasks may vary.
What led you to this career choice?
I majored in Financial Engineering. I started as an R&D Software Engineer at Société Générale. After a few years working for financial establishments, I moved on to a role that included both functional and technical tasks.
As things progressed, I stopped working as a Software Engineer and started working as a Product Owner (or equivalent). It’s been 10 years now and I still love it.
My engineering background is helpful in my daily job. Even if I don’t code anymore, I can understand the technical challenges the teams are facing. I see where the limits are and can adjust accordingly.
What do you like most about your role as PO?
I really enjoy my time as a Product Owner. I get to be involved through the entire process of product development, from conceptualization to delivery, and after.
As a former developer myself, I love working with developers to understand how they’re going to code such and such things.
What is your proudest achievement?
At the top of my head, there are actually 2 things I’m most proud of:
Thursday’s Release Review: I like to think that I helped dust off this meeting. It has now become a ritual that happens every Thursday at 5PM. Anyone can attend and demo something. More and more people have joined over the years. It’s an important part of our week and it’s key in the success of our projects. It’s also a real enabler of smart collaboration.
The “We Love Customers” Slack Channel: I created this slack channel to share customer feedbacks with the whole company. As a Product Owner, I’m always in touch with our customers, but the rest of the team isn’t. We share all types of comments (especially the good ones!). It’s a way to give more meaning to our work and bring us closer to our clients. Developers see the impact of their work on other businesses.
What advice would you give to somebody considering this role as a career?
Firstly, you need to be flexible and adaptable. In an agile environment, business priorities change, market trends evolve, and POs need to take these factors into account.
Secondly, you need to be curious. You don’t need to know everything there is to know about the product right away but you definitely need to familiarize yourself with the product and dig into the many projects that will come your way.
Last but not least, this role is a balancing-act; therefore, you need to be able to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical people as well as the different stakeholders.
And finally, tell us something unique about yourself?
A lot of my time outside of work is dedicated to encouraging more girls and young women to get into Tech. Once a year, I take part in the “Young Women & Maths: a Luminous Equation” Day. We’re hoping to inspire them to consider a future in technology.
I also participate in Career Days or children’s workshops to promote Computer Science. In a tech-savvy world, it’s important to show this future generation what it’s all about.
Thank you Aude, it was a pleasure chatting with you!
If you missed the first “Meet the Team” interview with Rémi, Head of Technical Documentation & Training, you can read it here.
Does Aude's story inspire you?
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