People Story - Stefan Weitland
“We are always working with the biggest customers and the latest technology.”
Stefan Weitland is a chief product owner working with the SAP Cloud Platform. His unique role gives him the ability to be involved from end-to-end on a product, which allows him to see the entire product evolution.
The product owner role can be one of the most challenging roles.
On all projects, the product owner is balancing competing inward-facing and outward-facing needs. Among the inward-facing tasks are participating in planning meetings, sprint reviews, sprint retrospectives and daily scrums; managing the product backlog; answering questions from the team; and simply being available to the team during the sprint.
A product owner’s outward-facing tasks include talking to users about their needs; creating and interpreting user feedback; traveling to customer sites; attending industry events; managing stakeholder expectations; prioritizing the product backlog; determining product pricing; developing a medium- and long-term product strategy; watching for industry and market trends; performing competitive analysis; and more.
That is why we are fortunate to have Stefan who has a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills. Stefan joined SAP 12 years ago as a senior developer. Since 2004, he has worked on a new challenge every two or three years to gain valuable experience in the many different areas of the company.
It is the variety of skills across many disciplines that has contributed to his success as a chief product owner. “My experience is a combination of a technical background, technical experience, and really understanding the customer’s needs. Plus, having project management skills, and knowing how to drive a project to completion,” Stefan says.
During the evolution and development of a product, he often participates in several meetings each day covering technical discussions and problem-solving topics – “there’s a problem here, and we work as a team to figure out how we solve it’”
A key part of Stefan’s experience is knowing how to focus the team’s efforts and successes. “You have to ask your team, ‘Where do we want to be in six months? 12 months? 18 months? And what will the customers want?” he says. “It’s important to have this view, to understand the requirements, how to handle the needs, and be able to put yourself in their shoes” Stefan says.
“SAP is one of the best employers you can think about,” Stefan shares with a smile on his face when talking about the company’s benefits and the way it encourages people to take vacation, as well as the personal attitude toward team members.
“One part is the degree of cooperation between different areas. At SAP, you find people of every nationality you can think of,” explaining that even though SAP is a global company, it often seems as if “everybody knows each other, works together.”
“We are always working with the biggest customers, and the latest technology,” Stefan says. “Some technical people, like me – and engineers – are interested in working on such topics [as arise] with the latest technology.”
“I can see how the experience of working at SAP to perspective candidates is so desirable. I am proud to work here.“