Surprising facts about our Product Owner, Mel

Melanie Smith - Decipher
Company News

Surprising facts about our Product Owner, Mel

Meet the names and faces behind Decipher!

Melanie Smith, Product Owner

What is your role at Decipher?

I joined Decipher at the end of August 2018.

My role is to lead the team not via authority but through influencing, conversations and facilitation, to establish and understand why we are working on something before we develop it, and foster a shared understanding of this with the entire team. I add value to Decipher by solving real problems.

Once the “why” is collectively understood, there are various meetings that take place to flesh out the user stories (the details of how this will be designed), and wireframes (the concept/design) of the feature. The first session is referred to as a discovery session – where we try to understand more about the business problem and issues, and then brainstorm potential resolutions. This information is then circulated to the team involved in the meeting, and from here , I create high level user stories (usually with lots of unanswered questions) and simple wireframes.

The team involved in these sessions include; the product owner, developer manager, developer, test manager, marketing, customer success manager and any other relevant stakeholders. From here, I gather more information and facilitate conversations to answer questions and help make better more informed decisions about the feature. The second session is an elaboration session, where we go through the design and user stories in more detail, with the goal of having these stories “ready to develop” for the following sprint. Once the user stories are in development and then in test, I answer questions, facilitate conversations and keep the business in the loop with where the feature is currently at and communicate any blockers or issues.

I love working with the Decipher team, and feel honoured and blessed to be part of it. I love the flexibility the work environment encourages and I really like that we work hard, and play even harder!!

What are people most surprised to learn about you?

I’m a saxophonist!

What are you currently watching on Netflix?

Making of a murderer

What’s your favourite place in the world, and why?

Super easy question – Disneyland!! It’s the most magical place on earth, and I’ve created so many lifelong memories with beautiful friends and family there. My second favourite place is New York! I love a good shop and love adding to my sneaker collection.

If you could swap places with someone for the day, who would it be?

Arnold Schwarzeneggerr – this man is incredible. I would love to trade places with him to see and understand how he is able to dominate and be the very best at everything he puts his mind to. He’s super inspirational! He’s the only person I can think of who has been a professional bodybuilder, movie star, entrepreneur and business man!


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