Product Owner Onboarding

Product Owner Onboarding - Omdena

Guidelines for Omdena Product Owners

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer and pioneering aviator.

The above quote very well describes Omdena environment. It is often difficult for newcomers to Omdena to grasp the idea that we do not have a top-down structure, no one is going to give them orders, and they have to self-drive and self-manage, but when they get it, they love it. As described by one fellow collaborator:

“What happens in such projects is pure magic.”

So let the magic begin!







Our Values:
  • Collaborative Learning — If you are stuck, ask others for help, there are no wrong questions.
  • Trust— You don’t have to ask permission to take responsibility. Trust in you and do it.
  • Diversity — You are unique and we harness different perspectives to solve problems.
  • Fun — We are not too serious, laughing is essential for what we do. Enjoy the moment!


Your Benefits:

On successful completion of a project, you’ll get access to the Omdena Community, which includes:

  • Professional Development 
    • – First come access to all other Omdena projects without applying
    • – Career services to boost your skills and grow from various roles in projects, regardless of the stage you are in your career
    • – Certificates & other perks like access to free courses & training opportunities
  • Personal Branding
    • – Recognition and exposure through speaking opportunities, webinars and (your own) articles
    • – Access to industry specific events
  • Community Network
    • – Network with like-minded people and receive mentorship at the same time
    • – Work with leading organisations & social enterprises

         Check here for more details.


Our Development Methodology

Our development model is inspired by Self-Organized and Initiated Learning-Environments (SOLE), which brings tremendous benefits to accelerate your growth. You can watch a video on a SOLE use case here.



You join your first project as a project manager, but are expected to grow towards the product owner role within your first  project with us. 

Role Descriptions


Product OwnerIn addition to following the project execution process and bridging the gap between the partner and collaborator teams, you also demonstrate the ability to drive the product and ensure it meets the partner organisation’s business needs. As a product owner you identify specific areas the collaborator team is lacking and proactively help find ways to solve them, for example:

  • – Skill gap analysis 
  • – Tech tool problems or gaps
  • – Partner communication 
  • – Collaborator presentations

Associate Product Owner In addition to following the project execution process, you proactively bridge the gap between the collaborator team and partner organisation by: 

  • Monitoring the technical solution being built by the collaborators and making sure it meets the specific project business needs and when it doesn’t, working with the team to help them pivot. This includes:
    • – Checking if the tasks are aligned with the problem statement 
    • – Make sure the purpose of the task (directly or indirectly) is going to build the product 
    • – Identifying any loopholes and have the team address it.

Project ManagerYou guide the team of collaborators through the project from start to finish by following the project execution process. The PM oversees:

  •  – Helping set the initial scope of the project with the Omdena core team
  • –  The day-to-day execution of the project
  • –  Runs the weekly team calls
  •  – Guides and supports the team of collaborators
  •  – Provides the partner with weekly status updates
  •  – Oversees the communication and delivery of the project results to the partner

* In any of the above roles, you are not expected to play the role of domain or ML expert, neither manage the collaborators, but guide the team to successful product delivery.


Useful tips to help you grow into Product Owner

 Inform yourself about the problem that is being solved

  •  What problem is the partner organisation solving ?
  •  Why are they solving the problem ?
  •  How are they currently addressing the problem and how will the Omdena team help?

Actively look for ways you can help the team produce the best results.


Take time to research industry- specific tools and methods that will help guide the team towards meeting the project objectives.


In Summary


Our projects encourage creative thinking: Only if you can think independently and problem-solving oriented, you can make an impact.

Improve leadership & communication skills: You will improve your communication skills by guiding the collaborators to improve their presentation and problem solving skills. One of the most important skills for a leader is to be able to communicate clearly and get your point across effectively. At Omdena you will learn it. 

You will improve intercultural skills and make friends beyond borders: Our community represents people from over 85 countries. Connect and learn from each other.


‘What seems a bit chaotic at first, one starts to appreciate the experience and realize the relevance of working in self-organizing environment, where crucial conclusions and optimal solutions eventually emerge as winners. It is very well welcomed and a valuable experience. It makes me proud to be a part of it.’

 — Vjeko Hofman – Omdena Collaborator


Some key points at the end

  • Please mention your name, country, and something funny if you´d like about you in the community_stories channel.
  • We expect a minimum of 15 hrs/week contribution.
  • Remember, it is a self-driven environment, no one will push you to take on a role. 

Finally, feel free to watch the 2 minutes introduction video where we go through all the concepts once more!

Now, let’s build a meaningful career. 🙂