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Agile Product Ownership: Do The Right Things, Not Everything


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(presented and played at pCamp Boston, May 2016)

Agile product owners feel the need to be in all places, all the time, with all people. To succeed, they need to be inventive yet intensely focused; collaborative but decisive; far-sighted but detail oriented. The best product owners are strategic—envisioning the product, communicating upstream with business executives, researching the market, and continually planning for delivery of high-value product options.

Yet at the same time, they are also tactical—communicating downstream with the delivery team, running product demos, and discussing technical considerations. Talk about a role that requires excellent balance and effective collaboration!

We’ll explore the strategic and tactical work of agile product ownership. Then, we’ll use fast-paced game to determine the level of delegation that is appropriate for product ownership work. You’ll leave with new perspectives on ways you might lighten your load and strengthen your support system so that you can make space for the right things amidst the clutter of everything.

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Agile Product Ownership: Do The Right Things, Not Everything

  1. 1. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 1 Agile Product Ownership: Do the RightThings, Not Everything Ellen Gottesdiener Copyright EBG Consulting, 2016 9 April 2016
  2. 2. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 2
  3. 3. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 3 !
  4. 4. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 4 product agile goal: deliver high value, frequently
  5. 5. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 5
  6. 6. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 6 “The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals. The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog.” The Scrum Guide 2014
  7. 7. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 7 product work Define and champion the product vision Research and test customer/market needs Identify high-value product options Decide on release dates and content Make backlog items “ready” for planning, dev Accept “done” work Conduct product demos Decide what technical debt to tackle Conduct competitive analysis …
  8. 8. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 8 product views
  9. 9. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 9 disciplines & focus product management product ownership development strategic tactical external internal customer code market making business technology
  10. 10. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 10 product partners
  11. 11. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 11 diverse disciplines product mgmt bus. analysis devOps architecture Ux dev/ engineering project mgmt service product/ domain marketing sales finance strategy Cx test/ QA
  12. 12. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 12 your turn The “right” work strategic tactical NOTE: We sorted cards containing for the work of product ownership into the ‘categories’ of strategic or tactical—or in-between.
  13. 13. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 13 goal collaborate mutually support delegate assign NOTE: We played an adaption of Jurgen Appelo’s “Delegation Poker” modified to explore delegation/ decision making for the work of product ownership Thank you Jurgen!
  14. 14. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 14 debrief
  15. 15. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 15 consider… How can you empower your product partners to make better product decisions? How can your product partners help you make better product decisions?
  16. 16. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 16 ! ! ! ! Training Find your learning story Consulting Match to your needs !
  17. 17. © EBG Consulting, 2016 | @ellengott | 17 thanks! This presentation is for pCamp Boston attendees’ personal use.   We welcome you sharing, with attribution our work. Please get in touch to do so. No copies, in part or in whole, including but not limited to, hard copy, print, photocopy or any electronic media, may be made or used without express written permission of EBG Consulting, Inc. It’s amazing you read this small print, too! Thank you. Agile Product Ownership: Do the RightThings, Not Everything