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Product Owners: Five Mistakes That Make Your Project #fail

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Presentation at Shanghai Scrum Forum 2010 by Nils Weisensee, CSPO at The NetCircle, Shanghai.

Presentation at Shanghai Scrum Forum 2010 by Nils Weisensee, CSPO at The NetCircle, Shanghai.

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  • 1. Product Owners: Five Mistakes That Make Your Project #fail Nils Weisensee
  • 2. What's this about? “ He is most powerful who has power over himself ” Seneca ( Roman philosopher)
  • 3. “ Many people fall because they are  afraid of letting go” Lisa Weisensee (German rock climber )
  • 4. Who? [email_address]
      • Background in Media Studies, Political Science & International Journalism
      • Worked as web designer & online consultant
      • Did fun stuff totally unrelated to software
      • Joined The NetCircle as Community Manager in Shanghai (they build social networking software)
      • Did more fun stuff unrelated to software
      • Became Certified Scrum Product Owner at The NetCircle
  • 5. Topics
      • Lack of Priorities
      • Lack of Planning
      • Lack of Product Vision
      • Lack of Presence
      • Lack of Trust
  • 6. Mistake #1 Lack of Priorities Do everything at once!
  • 7. Mistake #1: Lack of Priorities
      •  Don't prioritize only by gut feeling or intuition
      • Don't let the team do your work in the Planning Meeting ____________________________________________
      • Prioritize by business value and risk 
  • 8. Mistake #1: Lack of Priorities
      •  Don't prioritize only by gut feeling or intuition
      • Don't let the team do your work in the Planning Meeting ____________________________________________
      • Prioritize by business value and risk 
      • Fail fast and reiterate
  • 9. Mistake #2 Lack of Planning Surprise your team with new ideas in the middle of the sprint!
  • 10. Mistake #2: Lack of Planning
      •  Ideas are good, but sometimes have to wait
      • Don't disrupt the team because your ideas are running late
      • Disruptions have a price: Lower quality, delayed deployment
      • If a story change affects the estimated points, don't do it
  • 11. Mistake #3 Lack of Product Vision Change direction as often as possible!
  • 12. Mistake #3: Lack of Product Vision
      •  No clear vision for your product? Urgh.
      • Lack of consistency in product vision? Confront the client! Realize the costs of disruption!
  • 13. Mistake #3: Lack of Product Vision
      •  No clear vision for your product? Urgh.
      • Lack of consistency in product vision? Confront the client! Realize the costs of disruption!
      • Agile flexibility is useless if efficiency is lacking
  • 14. Mistake #4 Lack of Presence Get an office on the top floor!
  • 15. Mistake #4: Lack of Presence
      • Problems: Lack of physical or intellectual presence
  • 16. Mistake #4: Lack of Presence
      • Problems: Lack of physical or intellectual presence
      • Risks: Questions not asked during sprint,  team members assume leadership
      • But: PO presence does not mean PO interference!
  • 17. Mistake #5 Lack of Trust Make your team work harder!
  • 18. Mistake #5: Lack of Trust
      • Pressuring the team will backfire
      • Lack of testing and refactoring, more bugs to fix later
      • Nobody hates fixing old code more than your developers
      • Trust the team. If they say it's a 20, don't argue
  • 19. Conclusions
      • Don't be afraid of letting go where the team should function on its own
      • Know which tasks cannot be delegated
      • Be available when needed, but don't disturb
      • Trust your team
  • 20. Thanks for listening!
      • Which mistakes did you make?
      • What lessons did you learn?
    Nils Weisensee   [email_address]