From Vision to Reality: The Exciting Journey of a Product Owner
Have you ever wondered how an idea turns into a finished product? We have interviewed an expert in this field: Florian Friedrich, who works as Product Owner at Bosch Digital.
How it all started…
Looking back at Florian’s childhood, he never really had a particular dream job in mind. However, he was always driven by the desire to help people and make a positive impact on society. After completing his A-levels, he spent a year doing voluntary work in Portugal, where he gained valuable experience in caring for people with disabilities. Back home in Germany, Florian turned to academia and pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University, since “technology and products have an enormous impact on our society and the way we live. Contributing to its positive development can be truly fullfiling.”
Technology and products have an enormous impact on our society and the way we live. Contributing to its positive development can be truly fullfiling.
His career @ Bosch
Following the completion of his bachelor’s and master’s degree, Florian began his career at Bosch Rexroth as part of the Junior Managers Program (JMP) in 2019. This trainee program with a duration of up to 24 months offers the possibility to work in various projects in different Bosch business units. In the first year of his JMP, Florian gained valuable insights into Research & Development and Product Management of industrial applications and IoT. It was during this time that he discovered his passion for digitalization and product management.
He then continued his program at Bosch Digital where he could focus on the design of software products and agile working methods within software development teams. Since Florian did not have much previous knowledge in this area, he started as a lateral entrant: “Lateral entries are always difficult, especially when you are a young professional and are in a phase of orientation. However, changing areas and getting out of one’s comfort zone is important for professional and personal development.” His future journey proved him right: the JMP at Bosch helped Florian find a role which truly matched his personality and his talents: “I realized that I enjoy being in the interface between the product development team and our customers.”
For his last stage within his JMP program, Florian was working within a project where Bosch, in collaboration with other companies, supports the idea of bringing more human ethics and principles of privacy and data control into digital ecosystems. A perfect chance for Florian to apply and expand his skills in software product management, while contributing to something that benefits society. After the program ended, he continued to work in this project and is now a Product Owner in the field of Web3 and Self-Sovereign Identities (SSI).
At Bosch I have the chance to contribute my time to a project that really serves my purpose, within a team that motivates and shapes me, and in a role that I entirely enjoy.
Self-Sovereign Identities – Florian’s current project and biggest achievement
SSI is a technological concept for digital identities which gives users the control of their identity and its associated data. It lets users identify themselves without relying on a third party or a platform. In this context, users can be humans, legal entities, or even machines. SSI enables the required interactions and is an important building block when striving for a connected world where people must or want to interact with machines or even where machines interact with each other, e.g., in autonomous driving.
Bosch’s vision is to realize the “connected world”, amongst others through SSI. Florian is currently leading the implementation of SSI products. The first solution of his team enables companies to participate in decentralized B2B ecosystems and efficiently perform digital business processes: “Identifying the right use case with added value for Bosch and its business partners and striving for the go-live of the first Web3 product at Bosch is a great adventure and will be one of the biggest achievements so far in my journey at Bosch.”
Everyday working life
Florian’s job as Product Owner is to define product ideas and find use cases for Bosch together with his team. During the product development phase, he has the opportunity to design and shape the product. He is in constant communication with the customer and prepares the market entry including the go-to-market strategy and the cost/price calculation. Moreover, Florian is also responsible for creating a project vision and defining a clear direction for the team.
In the mornings, Florian usually participates in the “development daily”, where current topics and challenges are discussed. Throughout the day, he completes different tasks such as elaborating the project strategy and collaboration obstacles his team members, talking with other Product Owners about best practices, and discussing further product ideas with customers or external partners. In the afternoon, he works on other tasks, for example writing user stories or preparing pitches. Following Scrum principles, he is engaged in different stages like sprint plannings, backlog refinements, or team retrospectives throughout the week.
According to Florian, he spends almost 2/3 of his working time in the office. The contact with colleagues matches his outgoing personality. “I feel more creative when discussing challenges with like-minded people. In my opinion, meeting in person boosts the success of every project.” However, he prefers to work remotely on days when more individual focus and concentration is required.
Florian has a diverse set of hobbies and interests. He enjoys spending time in nature and hiking, as well as other sports like fitness and running. He has been playing the saxophone for many years and recently started playing the drums. With his wide range of interests, he can easily be described as an “all-rounder”.
Florian’s passion for languages has also taken him to several countries, including Brazil and China. Besides German, he is fluent in English and Portuguese, and even studied Chinese for a while. Florian loves to travel and learn about new cultures. His energetic and open personality helps him to create a pleasant atmosphere wherever he goes, and he is known for his ability to make people feel comfortable and at ease.