Agile Product Owners - What Ails Them?
-Anupam Kundu
A Short Story of Business and IT
Failed Products / Failed Companies
11-Sep-11 3
No Hiring Freeze!!!
11-Sep-11 4
Who is a Product Manager?
…who investigates,
selects and develop
one or more productsone or more products
for an organizat...
World of Product Management
strategy, forecasts,
commitments, roadmaps,budgets, staff,
Development
Mktg &
Sales
Executives...
Product Management in Large Tech Companies
Talks to
the Market
Builds the
Listens to
the Market
11-Sep-11 7
Builds the
Pro...
“We are Agile”
Product Managers became Product Owners…who makes decisions about
what the product should do while taking in...
Product Owner Attributes
•Subject Matter Expert
– Understand the domain well
enough to envision a product
•Business Advoca...
market information, priorities,
requirements, roadmaps, wireframes,
personas, user stories
Holistic View of Product Manage...
Challenge#1: Product Owners’ Influence Spheres
Portfolio
Division level
objectives and goals
Prioritized product
road map
...
Spheres of Influence Symptoms
Absentee Product Owner
-No clear product vision-No clear product vision
-Limited interaction...
Challenge#2: Organizational Model & Culture
• Innovation & Risk taking• Innovation & Risk taking
• Stability & Control
• A...
Organizational Culture Symptoms
Un-empowered Product
Owner
-Decisions are
overridden by other
departments and
individuals
...
Challenge#3: Business Model Validation
Business Model Symptoms
•Limited or no engagement by the Product Owner with Strategy team
•Too many process / organization...
Challenge#4: Arrogant PO
11-Sep-11 17
Arrogant PO Symptoms
•Limited or no engagement with engineering team
•Too much hand-waving instead of accepting realities•...
Connect the Challenges
Spheres of
Influence
No Business
Model
Validation
Organizational
Model
and Culture
11-Sep-11 19
Arr...
Connect the Dots
Spheres of
Influence
No Business
Model
Validation
Organizational
Model
and Culture
11-Sep-11 20
Arrogance...
Slow to move or change vs. Moving fast
Focus on process vs. Focus on outcome
Product Owners in large corporations vs. star...
Think
differently!
Blog.stackoverflow.com
Corporations getting back
into venture funding
-Start-ups
-Incubators
-Partner Ventures
http://www.mercurynews.com/busin
e...
Examples
Spawn Entrepreneurial
Culture
-Value creation
through innovationthrough innovation
-Enough freedom to
fail and grow for
ev...
Keep focus on business
value
-Continually balance
all stakeholder risksall stakeholder risks
against business
value
-Execu...
Build Cross-Functional
Product Teams
-Harness the
intelligence of theintelligence of the
whole team
-Align authority with
...
Orchestrate, Don’t Manage
Product Centric Development Teams
“…high-performing class of “product-centric” development
teams that characteristically s...
Interesting Trends
People-centred than process centred
Customer focused
Innovation inclinedInnovation inclined
Move fast
Respond to feedback
...
Good Reads
Questions??
Anupam Kundu
Lead Consultant, ThoughtWorks
www.Linkedin.com/in/Anupam
#mydibba
THANK YOU
#mydibba
Tale of Two Product Owne...
Image Courtesy
•Orchestrate, don’t manage (ThoughtWorks Studios)
•Build Cross-functional Teams (http://www.flickr.com/phot...
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Agile Product Owners - What Ails Them?

  1. 1. Agile Product Owners - What Ails Them? -Anupam Kundu
  2. 2. A Short Story of Business and IT
  3. 3. Failed Products / Failed Companies 11-Sep-11 3
  4. 4. No Hiring Freeze!!! 11-Sep-11 4
  5. 5. Who is a Product Manager? …who investigates, selects and develop one or more productsone or more products for an organization... …Delivers more value than the competition …Creates a sustainable competitive difference …Creates a sustainable competitive difference …Generates business benefit to the organization Wikipedia
  6. 6. World of Product Management strategy, forecasts, commitments, roadmaps,budgets, staff, Development Mktg & Sales Executives Product Management market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, MRDs, personas, user stories… software commitments, roadmaps, competitive intelligence budgets, staff, targets Field input, Market feedback Markets & Customers 11-Sep-11 6 software Segmentation, messages, benefits/features, pricing, qualification, demos… Inspired from Rich Mironov, author of “The Art of Product Management”
  7. 7. Product Management in Large Tech Companies Talks to the Market Builds the Listens to the Market 11-Sep-11 7 Builds the Product
  8. 8. “We are Agile” Product Managers became Product Owners…who makes decisions about what the product should do while taking into account whatwhat the product should do while taking into account what people who make buying decisions actually want... Jeff Patton • Assure team is pursuing a common vision • Establish priorities to track business value 11-Sep-11 8 • Establish priorities to track business value • Act as ‘the customer’ for developer questions • Work with product management to plan releases • Plan, elaborate and accept user stories and iterations
  9. 9. Product Owner Attributes •Subject Matter Expert – Understand the domain well enough to envision a product •Business Advocate – Understand the needs of the organization paying for theenough to envision a product •End-User Advocate – Describe the product with understanding of users and use, and a product that best serves both organization paying for the software and selects a mix of features that cater to their goals •Communicator – Capable of communicating vision and intent to the team and the stakeholders alike 11-Sep-11 9 both •Customer Advocate – Understand the needs of the business buying the product and select a mix of features valuable to the customer •Decision Maker – Given a variety of conflicting goals and opinions be the final logical decision maker about what goes into a release
  10. 10. market information, priorities, requirements, roadmaps, wireframes, personas, user stories Holistic View of Product Management personas, user stories alpha launch, beta testing, minimum viable product, build know-how monitoring and ideas / refinement five whys, product roadmap, forecast, competitive intelligence, Stakeholder inputs Real-time monitoring, alerts, funnel analysis, pricing feedback, segmentation monitoring and listening analyze product- market fit refinement
  11. 11. Challenge#1: Product Owners’ Influence Spheres Portfolio Division level objectives and goals Prioritized product road map Strategy Product roadmap and business strategy Daily Release What business objectives will each release achieve? What capabilities will the release offer? Release plan Product Business objectives fulfilled by the product Product Vision Product life cycle road map business strategy 11-Sep-11 11 Daily story backlog Story Details Acceptance Tests Sprint Planning What stories must be included in the sprint to achieve release objectives? Iteration Plan Sprint velocity/capacity
  12. 12. Spheres of Influence Symptoms Absentee Product Owner -No clear product vision-No clear product vision -Limited interaction and showcases -Too many conflicting priorities
  13. 13. Challenge#2: Organizational Model & Culture • Innovation & Risk taking• Innovation & Risk taking • Stability & Control • Attention to detail • Outcome orientation • People orientation • Team orientation Aggressiveness• Aggressiveness http://www.buzzle.com/articles/primary-characteristics-of-organizational-culture.html
  14. 14. Organizational Culture Symptoms Un-empowered Product Owner -Decisions are overridden by other departments and individuals -No power to influence technology or staffingtechnology or staffing choice -This is the way things get done around here
  15. 15. Challenge#3: Business Model Validation
  16. 16. Business Model Symptoms •Limited or no engagement by the Product Owner with Strategy team •Too many process / organizational hurdles to get buy-in•Too many process / organizational hurdles to get buy-in •No clear product or release vision prepared or shared •Absentee stakeholders •Continually delayed launch dates 11-Sep-11 16 •Extensive rework just before and after launch
  17. 17. Challenge#4: Arrogant PO 11-Sep-11 17
  18. 18. Arrogant PO Symptoms •Limited or no engagement with engineering team •Too much hand-waving instead of accepting realities•Too much hand-waving instead of accepting realities •No respect for any metric •Public reversal of tactical team decisions •Treats humans as machines
  19. 19. Connect the Challenges Spheres of Influence No Business Model Validation Organizational Model and Culture 11-Sep-11 19 Arrogance and Ignorance and Culture
  20. 20. Connect the Dots Spheres of Influence No Business Model Validation Organizational Model and Culture 11-Sep-11 20 Arrogance and Ignorance and Culture
  21. 21. Slow to move or change vs. Moving fast Focus on process vs. Focus on outcome Product Owners in large corporations vs. startups Focus on process vs. Focus on outcome Risk averseness vs. Risk adoption Pass the buck vs. Yes, we can Low participation vs. High-impact per personLow participation vs. High-impact per person Lack of innovation “soul” vs. Pivoting ideas for new markets Existing business models vs. Searching for new and repeatable ones www.SteveBlank.com No mentoring vs. Constant learning
  22. 22. Think differently! Blog.stackoverflow.com
  23. 23. Corporations getting back into venture funding -Start-ups -Incubators -Partner Ventures http://www.mercurynews.com/busin ess/ci_17630231
  24. 24. Examples
  25. 25. Spawn Entrepreneurial Culture -Value creation through innovationthrough innovation -Enough freedom to fail and grow for everyone - Build leaders
  26. 26. Keep focus on business value -Continually balance all stakeholder risksall stakeholder risks against business value -Execute iteratively and incrementallyand incrementally - Use metric intelligently
  27. 27. Build Cross-Functional Product Teams -Harness the intelligence of theintelligence of the whole team -Align authority with responsibility - Align responsibility with capability
  28. 28. Orchestrate, Don’t Manage
  29. 29. Product Centric Development Teams “…high-performing class of “product-centric” development teams that characteristically support their company’s value chain, partner with both their customers and business stakeholders, and own the business results that their software delivers… “ Forrester Research on Product Centric Development 11-Sep-11 29 Forrester Research on Product Centric Development
  30. 30. Interesting Trends
  31. 31. People-centred than process centred Customer focused Innovation inclinedInnovation inclined Move fast Respond to feedback Self-organizing High trust Quality obsessedQuality obsessed Collective Ownership (sounds like Agile principles)
  32. 32. Good Reads
  33. 33. Questions??
  34. 34. Anupam Kundu Lead Consultant, ThoughtWorks www.Linkedin.com/in/Anupam #mydibba THANK YOU #mydibba Tale of Two Product Owners (http://bit.ly/fQMkXR) Plight of Product Owners (http://bit.ly/agileproductowners) 2020 Best CIO Acceptance Speech2020 Best CIO Acceptance Speech (http://bit.ly/duxAgy) Product Road-mapping using Agile Principles (http://bit.ly/abfM4X)
  35. 35. Image Courtesy •Orchestrate, don’t manage (ThoughtWorks Studios) •Build Cross-functional Teams (http://www.flickr.com/photos/activefree/137467210/) •Spawn Entrepreneurial Culture (http://www.geoffsnyder.com/the-entrepreneurial-rift) •Business Model Image (Jason Furnell, ThoughtWorks) / Alexander Osterwalder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Model_Canvashttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Model_Canvas •Organizational Culture Symptoms (http://www.blacktomato.co.uk/44035/taiwan-art/) •Focus on Business Value (Life Magazine Photography) •Big Corporations Funding Start-ups (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nichollsphotos/2906834393/) •Lean Start-up Book (www.theleanstartup.com) •Arrogant Bastard Ale (http://sandiegopho.com/menus/beers.html) •Challenge#2:Organization Culture (http://www.designofsignage.com/application/symbol/hands/largesymbols/number- seven-7.html) •Changing Perspectives (http://www.productmarketing.com/productmarketing/magazine/1/2/07sj.asp) • Think Differently (http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/07/stack-overflow-private-beta-begins/)

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