+ Product Owner Hakan Saglam @ Sony January, 2013
+ Topics What / Who is PO? How to select a PO in your organization? What are the PO responsibilities? What are the key skills of a PO? What are the common mistakes of a PO? Reference List
+ What / Who is PO? As the name suggests, a product owner should own the product on behalf of the company. You can think of the product owner as the individual who champions the product, who facilitates the product decisions, and who has the final say about the product, for instance, if feedback is integrated into the product backlog, or when which features are released. The following diagram provides an overview of the product owner role.
+ How to select a PO? The Customer Plays the Product Owner Role • Advantages The customer steers and controls the development of the software directly. This allows the customer to own the product, speeds up decision-making, and increases the likelihood of creating a product that serves the customer needs. • Challenges The customer must be available, qualified, and empowered to create a successful product. The customer and the team must value transparency and develop a healthy, trustful relationship. The latter tends to be particularly challenging when the customer and the team have different interests, for instance, getting the essential features shipped as soon as possible vs. maximizing revenue, or if they have had difficulties to collaborate in the past (“IT never delivers”).
+ How to select a PO? A Customer Proxy Fills the Product Owner Role • Advantages Separating the customer and the product owner role helps create a product that addresses all the needs selected. It also provides the opportunity to employ professional full-time product owners with the right skills: Product managers, project managers, and business analysts can focus on playing the role effectively. • Challenges Empowerment of the product owner can be difficult to achieve: Product owners often require the trust and support of senior management to be able to make the necessary decisions, to have the clout to say no, and to create stakeholder alignment. Companies that regard IT largely as a commodity can find it difficult to value product ownership and to invest in developing product owners.
+ Responsibilities of a PO The responsibilities of the Product Owner are onerous and there is no one else on the team to cover for him/her or pick up the slack. So if you’re choosing a Product Owner, choose wisely, the difference can be success or failure for the entire project. Before listing the responsibilities very first thing to say or the most important and primary thing of PO is VISION. Vision is the minimum plan necessary to start a Scrum project consists of a vision and a Product Backlog. The vision describes why the project is being undertaken and what the desired end state is.
+ Responsibilities of a PO PO emphasize the vision and the goals at the beginning of each sprint or release. PO creates and maintains the product backlog. PO prioritizes and sequences the product backlog according to business value or ROI prior to sprint planning. PO details the Epic, Theme, Feature into user stories that are granular enough to be achieved in a single sprint. PO represent the customer, and continuously keep the customer feedbacks to have the right product.
+ Responsibilities of a PO PO support team to define DoR (definition of ready) and DoD (definition of done). PO participates the Sprint Planning and Review, Grooming Meeting and Retrospective Meetings but not that much needed for daily meetings. PO has complete authority to accept or reject the works which has been demonstrated. PO is the voice of the product (indirectly the team) to the outside world. PO can terminates a sprint, if a drastic change is required in an urgent manner.
+ Key Skills of a PO PO should be strong, must not afraid to make though decisions. PO should be present, spend all of his/her time to this role. PO should be empowered, he has to gain that empower. PO should be trustful by team and customer. PO should have true understanding of customer needs. PO should have basic knowledge of how software is developed and deployed.
+ Common Mistakes of a PO “We’ll figure this out later” (Lack of product goal and vision). “Everything is important!” (Lack of product priorities). “Let me ask the client about this” (Lack of decision-making power). “I have something else to do” (Lack of time or overworked PO). PO should resist the temptation of micro management. PO should think twice before interrupting the team about other than sprint goals. PO should be at same place physically with the team.