In general terms, a quality manager focuses on market strategy and product viability, with the customer needs front and center when it comes to formulating new products. A quality owner, conversely, has the role of ensuring a product or software solution will be effective from both a market and a logistical perspective.
Ideally, a quality owner should be technically astute enough (“how”) to understand what the team must do to meet deadlines, while ensuring the solution (“what” and “why”) has the functionalities needed to perform well in the real world (“where” and “when”). A skilled quality owner will troubleshoot with your engineering, sales and customer service teams, ensure quality control and effectively manage product backlogs, sprints and iterations.
Without this key person in place to unite your entire team, the development process can become chaotic, increasing the risk of not having enough quality stories, missing deadlines and overrunning budgets.
So what competencies should you look for in a competent quality owner?
- The capacity to make smart, educated decisions with confidence.
- Ability to gather and parse the opinions of multiple stakeholders, often acting as the middleman between your development team and other company leaders.
- Open-mindedness when considering new and/or deviant feature ideas.
- Ability to put himself or herself in the customer’s place and identify his key needs and pain points.
- Business acumen; accuracy in estimating the market size and viability of a prospective product or feature.
- A true passion for technology.
- A personality that can resolve conflicts and motivate your team to realize its full potential — without spurring resentment.
- Ability to set and meet deadlines.
- A positive and optimistic attitude.
- A finger on the pulse of what your competitors are doing.
Finding a leader with all those skills may be difficult, but you’re far more apt to achieve excellence in product development if you take the time to put a quality owner — not just a quality manager — at the helm.
The quality owner training program is designed to act as a knowledge build-up to business people who have quality ownership and focuses on specialized skills in this direction. The program has been structured in a way to build upon the existing competencies of the practitioner, but most importantly with a main focus on developing new quality focused skills through the use of our unique strategic, managerial and operational quality principles. The overall goal is to infuse the quality owner with an entirely new way of thinking, working, modelling and governance around the quality concept.
This is done through intensive online training (classroom is also an option), in-depth tutoring and coaching coupled with hands-on project experience. The learning route of the program has been designed around 3 areas;
- Strategic Quality Owner (executive/director focus) which requires 1 day of training.
- Tactical Quality Owner (management focus) which requires 1 day of training.
- Operational Quality Owner (execution focus) which requires 2 days of training.
The Quality Owner Program including Individual Performance Coaching is offered as a 4 days training program and is designed and certified by the Global University Alliance.