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The product workers: biases and how I as a product owner can deal with them

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Bias are systematic errors in our workers-return-to-duties-in-ni-after-psni-threat-assessment/">assessment. This time in the product worker podcast, Dominique Winter and Oliver Winter discuss what helps against this.

Bias are distortions or systematic errors in the assessment of information. The best known is probably the cognitive bias, a cognitive distortion. Ultimately, biases influence human judgment through subjective impressions and thus also the decisions of product owners.

They make objectivity difficult: People tend to accept conclusions that fit their belief system without questioning them thoroughly. Conversely, we tend to reject claims when they don’t confirm our inner beliefs, even though they might be true.

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In this episode of the podcast, the product workers take on the phenomenon from the perspective of behavioral psychology. Dominique Winter and Oliver Winter use examples to explain how product owners are affected by distorted perception in their decisions.

The current episode covers numerous forms of bias, including:

  • Dunning-Kruger Effect: The tendency of less competent people to overestimate their own ability and underestimate the competence of others.
  • confirmation bias: The tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one’s expectations.
  • Implicit bias: To build a product in the way you want and imagine it, in short: connect others with yourself.
  • IKEA effect: the tendency to value self-assembled items more than ready-made, mass-produced items. In terms of software: wanting to program everything yourself instead of integrating standard software.
  • Effort justification bias: When we have invested effort in something, it is seen as more valuable than what would be warranted by objective observation.
  • loss aversion: The tendency to prioritize losses over gains.

Ultimately, these are traps that all product owners can fall into. Oliver Winter and Dominique Winter therefore give tips on what to do against these “troublemakers” and how Product Owners can better deal with biases.

As always, the episode concludes with tips on how listeners can delve deeper into the topic. A great book on bias is Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman uses many examples from his research to pursue the following thesis: There are two types of thinking – the fast, instinctive and emotional system 1 and the slower, thinking things through and more logical system 2.

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Some earlier episodes of the podcast “Die Produktwerker” also fit the topic of biases:

  • Frank Wulfes in conversation with Tim Klein: “Decision Poker and decision-making processes”
  • Oliver Winter in conversation with Tim Klein: “Kano model for understanding customer needs”

The episode and further information can be found under “The product workers: Dealing with biases as a product owner”.

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