Confessions of a serial product owner is a short guide to a business person aiming for becoming an excellent product owner in Agile and Scrum projects. It was written in 2009 and is based on the personal experience of Anna Forss.
When starting up the software project, where one of the architects sent the CEO some reads on agile and domain driven design. These were areas of interest for the architect and we’d discussed the benefits of working this way. Working at a company solidly into waterfall development, we had no idea what would happen next. Without clearing it with us developers, the CEO said in front of the whole company that we were starting using Scrum as from then. But what did that mean? How were we supposed to work? Who was going to take on the different roles? I got started reading.
First, I was Scrum master and product owner proxy (yes, this is not a role which can be found in hard core Scrum, but I will get back to that later). A couple of months later, I became a product owner. What I found was that most of the literature and examples are described from a Scrum master or developer perspective. Since I am a business person I rather got the sense that I was the “bad guy”, someone developers and Scrum masters thought was “never available” and the primary one to blame when the project failed.
Is it true, and if so: why? I definitely do not have the answers, but these are my experiences and tips for a product owner in the making.
This is a book for you who are getting familiar with Scrum. Perhaps you have read some blogs or a shorter book on the subject. Perhaps you’ve used Scrum for a while and is asking yourself: is this really supposed to be like this? Since I am a business person and not a software developer, this book is written more for business people than developers.
(this book was previously available on another Agile portal (devagile.com) that is due to be discontinued)