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From Product PO to Platform PO: Lessons Learned

  • May 7, 2013 · 6:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

NOTE: This is a different Quintiles location for this meeting. Here are the directions:


Quintiles Bradford Building

5827 South Miami Boulevard

Morrisville, North Carolina 27560


i540 Exit on Hwy 54 (Chapel Hill Rd) heading North – this is the exit before 540 is a toll road if coming from Raleigh direction (or just after toll from opposite direction)

Head past Walmart and second light to the second Quintiles building (attached to the first one, but has its own entrance)

Note:  There are two entrances to the first building (at the light and then another further down – go past both) Enter the building through the corner entrance underneath the “Quintiles” sign


From Product PO to Platform PO: Lessons Learned (Or at Least Good Questions Posed) from a Product Ownership Experience on a Recent Enterprise Agile Platform Project

Over the years, I’ve been involved in the creation and release of several software products. But that’s the key word, “products”. Recently, however, I spent time working on a brand new education technology platform. And even though I’m an education domain expert with a reasonable record of software development success, I discovered that the “product-to-platform” transition is not an easy one. I also found that the traditional aspects of Agile Product Ownership that I love so much (requirements gathering, advocacy for the user, prioritizing high business value features, etc.) were much more complicated in a platform situation. And so was the technology I needed to understand—some of which still baffles me 18 months on. In this informal discussion, I’ll throw out a set of “lessons learned”, (or things I’m still puzzled about) from this experience, and I’ll ask the audience to weigh in with their own opinions, suggestions, and solutions from similar experiences they’ve had. This will NOT be a lecture. It will be a highly interactive group discussion where I hope we all come away a little wiser for some honest discussion about big challenges in enterprise Agile software development.


Speaker Bio:

Steve Peha is the Founder of Teaching That Makes Sense, an education consultancy in Carrboro, NC specializing in literacy and leadership. Over the last 25 years, he has split his time between technology and education, involved in the product development process of roughly a dozen software and hardware products in the education, entertainment, and content management spaces. In 1993, his third company, Music Technology Associates, was purchased in an IPO by Midisoft Corporation where he became the company’s Director of Product Development. More recently, he has spent his time as an Agile Product Owner working on what is perhaps the largest education technology platform in US history: The Shared Learning Infrastructure, funded in large part by The Gates Foundation.


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  • Steve P.

    Thanks to all for a great evening. The interaction was terrific. I especially enjoyed the extended discussion after the presentation was over. I think I had my last conversation with someone at 9:30 in the parking lot.

    May 8, 2013

  • Damian R.

    Great presentation to learn from a large project that includes working with government and a foundation. A lot to learn from that lead to a great discussion.
    Thanks Steve!

    May 8, 2013

  • Peter S.

    Great insights and I want to thank Steve for the very open and frank presentation. We should have engaged in the discussion much earlier - it revealed interesting additional aspects.

    May 8, 2013

  • Mark B.

    Interesting. It was nice to hear from a speaker with a perspective of working on a very large project who had to negotiate with stakeholders, senior personnel, schedules, budgets, and his own visions for the product.

    May 7, 2013

  • Greg F.

    I'll be there to let people in around 6:00

    May 7, 2013

  • Benjie D.

    I'd like to give up my spot but seem unable to do so via the site. Hopefully the organizers can add someone else.

    May 7, 2013

    • Greg F.

      Change your RSVP to no.

      May 7, 2013

    • Benjie D.

      Interesting... doesn't work in Chrome, works in Firefox.

      May 7, 2013

  • Daniel H.

    Late change of plans

    May 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      If you are not planning on attending change your status on meetup to no and someone can go in your place

      May 7, 2013

  • Margaret D.

    Hope someone else can go in my place!

    May 6, 2013

  • Babu R.

    Sorry I couldn't make it

    May 6, 2013

  • Shawna S.

    Any possibility of a bigger room?

    April 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    shoot made the waiting list

    April 22, 2013

  • Christopher P.

    Looking forward to it!

    April 17, 2013

  • Charles A J.

    A possibly stupid question regarding clarification of title: "Product PO to Platform PO". Does PO = Purchase Order, Product Ownership, Program Officer, [other]?

    April 17, 2013

    • Bob G.

      It equated to Product Owner. In this case the transition is from traditional, software product ownership to more technical, platform based product ownership.

      April 17, 2013

  • Catherine

    Looking forward to this!

    April 17, 2013

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