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PO Survival Strategies


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Two techniques to help you survive as a Product Owner. First, learn how to deal with seagull stakeholders. Second, learn how to easily and mathematically determine the complexity of your user stories and pare them down for your development team.

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PO Survival Strategies

  1. 1. Tampa Bay Agile Product Owner Group – 12th June, 2019 South University, Tampa Product Owner Survival Strategies
  2. 2. Agenda Introductions & Announcements PO Survival Tactics 30 mins Activity 40 mins Retrospective <5 mins
  3. 3. About Us… Mike Miller Mike is an Agile enthusiast who is deeply committed to realizing the tangible benefits of agile software development. He is one of only a handful of Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultants working in the Tampa Bay area. Mike has over 14 years of experience in the IT sector in roles ranging from Senior Technical Writer to Product Manager for Web and Mobile to Enterprise Agile Coach. Mike is the type of agilest who actively works with teams and organizations to show them how to realize the benefits of agile software development. From training for Scrum, Kanban, and SAFe, to organizational design at the team, program, and portfolio levels, to proper tool configuration and even DevOps, Mike is there for his clients. He has coached and trained over 30 teams, led multiple agile transformations, and in every case, has left his clients in a better position than when he walked in the door. Hemant “Om” Patel Om is an agile evangelist with a fervent passion for coaching teams to improve their effectiveness. He has over 25 years of experience in delivering successful technology projects using waterfall, hybrid and agile methods. His career roles span developer, tester, business analyst, project manager, program manager, scrum master, and agile coach roles. Om holds several certifications including CSM, CSPO, CSaSP, PMP and ACP. He has participated in agile transformation efforts at clients like Atex, Disney, EY and PwC. Philosophically, he meets the organization where it is and works to develop incremental improvements in a pragmatic manner based on the change tolerance of the organization. As a continuous learner, Om is actively involved with various agile communities, and regularly attends meetups and trainings to expand his knowledgebase and expertise.
  4. 4. About Us… Our Mission Transform our customer’s businesses using Agile methodologies and principles to help them succeed in a flexible, collaborative, self-organizing and fast-paced environment. What we do… • Agile Coaching • Agile Training • Software Development Contact Us… ClearlyAgile 201 E Kennedy Blvd, Suite 1700, Tampa, FL 33602 1-800-228-9144
  5. 5. Seagull Stakeholders By Mike Miller
  6. 6. The Seagull Manager
  7. 7. The Seagull Stakeholder Is the same thing, but this time a stakeholder. Your stakeholder!
  8. 8. The Seagull Stakeholder Story time! - Have you had a stakeholder like this? - What behaviors did they exhibit? - How did that make you feel?
  9. 9. The Seagull Stakeholder How do you deal with this much poop on a recurring basis?!?!
  10. 10. Product Owner Saves the Day! Use a collaborative product prioritization framework to … • Put guardrails on your seagull stakeholder by using a system • Dilute the influence of your seagull stakeholder with other non-seagull stakeholders by making the system collaborative
  11. 11. Product/Feature Prioritization Frameworks • Inject some systemicity into your stakeholder interactions • Take the ‘gut check’ out of prioritization • Use math! • Play a game! Pick your poison from 20 different options
  12. 12. Product/Feature Prioritization Frameworks • Don’t like canned prioritization frameworks? • Would you rather roll your own? • Use the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s Department of IT framework to create your own! Domain/9/ProjectPrioritizationGuide.pdf entresources/toolsforassessmentandplanning/Project_P rioritization_Guide_v_1.pdf
  13. 13. Roll Your Own • Identify all critical stakeholders • Help them establish prioritization criteria • Help them rank (i.e., weight) the criteria • Work with them to define the score definitions • Get them to help you score your product features!
  14. 14. Still want more? • ICE – Impact, Confidence, Ease • GIST – Goals, Ideas, Step- Projects and Tasks -product-introduction-to-feature- priority-using-ice-impact-confidence- ease-and-gist-5180434e5b15
  15. 15. Zombie PBIs By Mike Miller
  16. 16. The Zombie PBI • It never seems to close • It just keeps rolling from sprint to sprint • It’s never production- ready • Every time the development team tries to work it, they seem to choke
  17. 17. The Zombie PBI There could be many reasons, but the most common is that the PBI is just too big
  18. 18. The Zombie PBI You need this… But you have this…
  19. 19. SPIDR You could use Mike Cohn’s SPIDR technique… • Spikes • Paths • Interfaces • Data • Rules But who can remember all that?
  20. 20. The Mike Miller User Story Complexity Litmus Test™ Or the MMUSCLT! Easy, right?! Actually… 1 x 1 x 1 = 1
  21. 21. Simplicity is amazing! 1 actor multiplied by 1 action multiplied by 1 target equals A complexity of 1
  22. 22. Let’s give it a try… As a registered or unregistered (guest) user, I want to pay for my purchase with a debit card or a credit card or my PayPal account, so that I can use the payment option that works best for me. • How many actors are listed? • How many actions? • How many targets? Can we simplify this by focusing on a single actor, a single action and a single target?
  23. 23. Let’s give it a try… Take 2 As a registered or unregistered (guest) user, I want to pay for my purchase with a debit card or a credit card or my PayPal account, so that I can use the payment option that works best for me I don’t have to use my credit card or PayPal account. • How many actors are listed now? • How many actions are listed now? • How many targets are listed now? Do you think your development team will choke on this PBI?
  24. 24. Don’t believe me? Try it! Anything with high complexity more closely resembles a product feature, not a PBI. Any PBI with a complexity of 1 will usually be welcomed by your development team.
  25. 25. Remember! 1 actor multiplied by 1 action multiplied by 1 target equals A complexity of 1
  26. 26. Thank you!
  27. 27. Activity 1) Self-organize in groups of 10 Group discussion: 2) What particular challenges have you faced as a PO/dealing with a PO? 3) How did you overcome these? Discuss your challenges among the team and pick 2 Drawing of a PO representing the characteristics (optional) 20 mins 4) Someone from each group shares their stories with rest of the room 20 mins
  28. 28. Retrospective 1. Write what made you Glad / Sad / Mad on stickies 2. Place them on the Retro sheet
  29. 29. Thank you!