Digital Academy: Working level for Product Owners course


Here’s my digest of three days at the digital academy…

I’m on the train home from a tiring but fulfilling three-day stint in Leeds at the Digital Academy. I was taking the Working Level for Product Owners course.

Before I fall asleep, here are my immediate reflections on the course:

  • The course was well facilitated, lead by Matt Edgar, with excellent facilitation from Phil Broadhurst and additional support from other members of the team Rico, (Rico, if you see this I totally didn’t get your surname!) Alison Phelan And Zoe Gould.
  • The course practices what it preaches with a daily standup and retrospective. Plus the team iterate every single time they run a course, which is excellent.
  • It felt good to get out of London. The different environment helped me to concentrate. (Though hotel stays are not the best for my sleep/concentration – at least I didn’t have work distractions).
  • At the end of day 1 a lot of people said that they felt happy that they followed all of the content and more confident that they were “doing the right thing” – that only grew on days 2/3.


  • We covered practical methodologies that I can go away and use, in particular, user stories and impact mapping (which I hadn’t done before).


  • I was glad that hypothesis and “experiments” were covered as that’s something I would like to do a lot more of…


  • On day 3 we learned about Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) which is excellent, learning how to write acceptance tests for Cucumber/Gherkin was slightly mind-blowing. But I hope I can take this back with me and have a play. 🥒🥒🥒


  • The group were great. Intelligent, hardworking, with vision and aiming for better. At the end of day 3 we had a session about what makes a bad/good/excellent PO (helped along by a video of a presentation by Kit Collingwood-Richardson). I can already see that some of these guys are basically already there.


I’m ready to have a good sleep in my own bed, but I’m really confident that I’ve already built some relationships with awesome/supportive people who will help everyone keep doing the good thing and striving to do great work #proud

Some other notebook/postit shots:





You might also be interested in this write up (Digital Academy PO course – reflections) by Debbie Blanchard.

If you want to know more about the Digital Academy go to: www.gov.uk/government/groups/digital-academy

Or on twitter: twitter.com/DWP_ACADEMY

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