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Who is the Product Owner Anyway

As Agile become mainstream increasingly organizations are looking to double down on the role of the Product Owner encouraging them to manage the intersection between technology and the business. But Product Ownership is a difficult role as it tries to balance the needs of the business with the reality of software delivery. Also, for many organizations there is some ‘confusion’ with existing roles of business analyst, product manager or even project manager. What does the product owner do anyway?

In this talk Dave West, Product Owner and CEO, the home of Scrum and Professional Scrum Trainer with Prowareness Rob van Lanen describe the genesis of the Product Owner role and how many organizations are dealing with the challenges of slotting this key role into existing product, project and release roles. They will introduce some techniques such as user centric design, and hypophysis based development and describe how approaches such as Lean Startup and pragmatic marketing are providing product owners with a tool box to do their job.

Recorded Webinar can be found at :-

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Who is the Product Owner Anyway

  1. 1. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved by – Improving the Profession of Software Delivery Who is the Product Owner Anyway? Dave West CEO / Product Owner @Davidjwest Rob van Lanen PST, Prowareness @robvanlanen
  2. 2. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Improving the profession of software delivery 2
  3. 3. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved 1,380,000+ Open Assessments Taken 100,000+ Professional Scrum Certifications The Home of Scrum 90% Agile Teams Use Scrum 180 Professional Scrum Trainers TaughtPracticed everywhere 73,000+ +12M Using Scrum Daily ONE Scrum Guide 3
  4. 4. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Office Bangalore (IN) Building 2A-WestTower, EmbassyTechVillage Outer Ring Road, DeverabeesanahalliVillage, Bangalore – 560087, Karnataka, India +91 80 49 08 78 00 Office Düsseldorf (DE) Stadttor Medienhafen 17. Etage Stadttor 1, 40219 Düsseldorf Germany +49 211 3003 401 Office Silicon Valley (US) 530 Lytton Avenue 2nd Floor PaloAlto, California 94301, United States +1650 617 3267 Headquarters Delft (NL) Brassersplein 1 2612 CT, Delft The Netherlands +31 15 241 18 00
  5. 5. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Meet the Presenters 5 Dave West Product Owner / CEO @DavidJWest Rob van Lanen PST, Prowareness @RobvanLanen
  6. 6. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Agenda 1. Introducing the Product Owner 2. The challenge of the role 3. Requirements vs Ownership 4. Who plays the role? 5. Making it work, and 7 characteristics of success 6
  7. 7. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Introducing the Product Owner 7 source:
  8. 8. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Introducing the Product Owner • The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. • Product Backlog management includes: • Clearly expressing Product Backlog items; • Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions; • Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs; • Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next; and, • Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed. • The Product Owner may do the above work, or have the Development Team do it. However, the Product Owner remains accountable. 8
  9. 9. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved 9 Scrum Framework
  10. 10. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved The Product Owner • Maximizing the value of the product and the development team • Sole person responsible for managing the product backlog • Must be empowered to make decisions about the product • No-one else is able to tell the development team what to do ! The what, who, how changes depending on the situation PRODUCT OWNER 10
  11. 11. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved The Benevolent Dictator 11
  12. 12. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved So, What is the ProblemThen…? The Growing Product Company • As organizations grow specialism of activity challenges ownership and responsibility • Outbound vs inbound becomes problematic • Product becomes so complex that no one knows what it does • Fear replaces optimism as you have something to lose IT Adopting Agility • Many roles exist to support water- fall including BA, Project Manager • Products exist on the business but not in IT • Agile being driven by IT • Process has replaced responsibility and ownership • The PMO  12
  13. 13. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved AndYou Have to Answer Questions Like… 13 How much is it going to cost? What are we going to get? When is it going to be ready?
  14. 14. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved The “Ownership Dilemma” Market Sensing • Interviews • Validation • Competition • Win/Loss • Secondary Research Inbound • Business Case • Numbers • Strategy • Portfolio Fit • Roadmap • Positioning Planning • User Personas • Goals/Themes • Epics • Requirements • Prioritization • Acceptance Tests • Release/Sprint Planning • Demo Validation Outbound • Go to Market • Launch • Though Leadership • Collateral & Tools • Ongoing Support ? How Many Products?How Many Roles? 14
  15. 15. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved 15 “The enemy is in front of us, the enemy is behind us, the enemy is to the right and to the left of us.They can't get away this time!” - General Douglas MacArthur
  16. 16. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Requirements vs Ownership 16
  17. 17. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Agile Does Not Remove the Need to do Requirements 17 Requirements 15% of effort, 16 – 24% of duration Testing 31% of effort, 20 – 32% of duration Agile is NOT magic, you still need to do the work The ScrumTeam (includes the PO)
  18. 18. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved 18 Outcome based backlog items, with clear measures of success, are key
  19. 19. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Managing the Backlog, Not Doing Everything In It! 19 PRODUCT OWNER Sole person responsible for managing the product backlog
  20. 20. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Owning the ProductVision 20 0-6 Months 6-12 Months 12+ Months Future Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Requirement Sprint 1 Sprint 2+3 Sprint 4-… Idea Idea Idea If nothing changes, then… • Setting true north for the team • Plans evolve over time • Clarity come from work • Will change ever sprint • Refinement is crucial for reviewing the backlog
  21. 21. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved And in more complex situations with more ‘stuff’ going on is more of a leader and less of a doer ! Decisions PRODUCT OWNER Development Team SMEs Stakeholders Stuff 21
  22. 22. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Leading is Not Easy • The backlog is the primary vehicle for driving work • Requirements is a team task • Managing stakeholders, compromise and balance • Providing a vision that communicates intent and value • And refresh the vision frequently 22
  23. 23. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Who plays the role ? 23© 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved
  24. 24. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Where DoesThis Person Come From? = Project Manager PRODUCT OWNER Business Analyst Product Manager Relationship Manager 24
  25. 25. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Product Owner Skills 1. Visionary 2. Decisive 3. Communicative 25 An ideal Product Owner is empowered, has business knowledge, and is technologically savvy. *Warning* Each situation is different, so not possible to make fast rules.This is illustrative of the decision you will make.
  26. 26. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved The PO’sTwo Commandments… Empowered to make decisions about the product Available to the team to answer questions
  27. 27. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Making it Work 27
  28. 28. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Being the Mini CEO THE BIGGER PICTURE PRODUCT OWNER MATURITY CompanyVision Business Strategy ProductVision Product Strategy Release Plan Sprint Plan Daily Plan DevelopmentProductOwner Management Scribe Proxy Business Representative Sponsor Entrepreneur ExpectedBenefits Maturity 28
  29. 29. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved 7 Habits of Highly Successful Product Owners 29
  30. 30. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Summary Not responsible for… Responsible for… Who does it? Anyone can do it but… Writing all tests Creating all requirements Knowing everything about everything Delivering value Managing trade-offs Leading the delivery of a valuable product Visionary Decisive Communicative Empowered Available 30
  31. 31. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved ScrumValues • COURAGE we admit we do not know everything • FOCUS on what is the most important • COMMITMENT dedicated to delivering working software • RESPECT cross-functioning, self-organizing team • OPENNESS frequently inspecting through delivering 31 “Scrum Values” Illustration © 1993-2016 All Rights Reserved
  32. 32. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Thank You 32
  33. 33. © 1993-2017, All Rights Reserved Connect with the community Twitter @scrumdotorg LinkedIn /company/ Facebook / Forums /Community RSS 33