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People Behind the Project: Natalie Thompson

Natalie Thompson, Product Owner


Natalie Thompson 


Product Owner

How do you help clients?

As a product owner, I work as the “in-between” with clients and the team. I work with clients to learn their needs and facilitate the software development process. I represent them in regards to our developers and make sure we are creating the best solution for the client. On the other hand, I also represent our internal team in regards to recommendations, estimates, and project budgets and timelines. I create and prioritize the work for each of our sprints to achieve both external and internal goals.

What led you to here?

Since I graduated college in 2011, I’ve not only learned a lot about the workforce, but also about myself. I feel I’ve honed into what my innate skills are and decided to capitalize on them. I discovered that organization and detail-oriented work is truly where my skills are—which fits perfectly for this role.

Tell us about your background or training.

I started my career out as a graphic designer (print and web), but decided I needed more interaction with people than a computer. Therefore, I took the opposite leap and became a digital sales specialist for a broadcast television company where I was able to dictate the designs and work with both clients and account managers. I learned that I enjoyed more of the project management side of that work versus sales. After a few twists and turns, I learned that a product owner role encapsulates many of the skills I’ve found I’m good at. 

What is your work mantra?

Honestly, the first saying that came to mind was, “Fake it till you make it.” It’s not about being ingenuine or acting like you know everything, but having the confidence to TRY. It’s about NOT being afraid to fail and taking the chance on yourself to grow. 

What are you reading?

Today Matters by John C. Maxwell and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. WWII era books are my favorite. Plus, I enjoy reading the selection of home and garden design magazines that I subscribe to.

Who do you follow?

It 100% depends on what platform I’m on. At work, we’re big followers of Seth Godin, but personally my favorite people to follow in my free time are travel bloggers, photographers, and artists. Chris Burkard is one of my favorites. 

Where do you see the field going in 1-3 years?

For Far Reach, we consider ourselves a learning organization, so I feel that we are always changing and improving. When I first started here, I discovered that there’s really no set process for a lot of things. We’re like a ball of clay that’s constantly being molded—dependent on the project, client, technology, and team. Therefore, regardless of where the field is, we will be in the absolute best position to serve our clients at that time.