This is a talk about how shifting the focus from craft to product has affected my company. Our delivery teams are required everyday to make trade offs between what would the best technical solution and the one that is right for the product they are delivering. Ultimately, we get paid to solve business problems, not to be perfectionists.
The goal of the Product Owner Podcast is to share stories from real product owners working in Agile teams. It proposes tips, tricks and lessons learned from experience. Listening to these interviews, you will gain insight into how these Product Owners manage their stakeholders, their time and their backlogs to deliver the best possible value with their teams.
Agile reminds us that the focus of any set of requirements needs to be on an outcome rather than a collection of whats and whos. Storytelling is a powerful tool to elevate even the most diehard requirements analyst from a discussion of individual requirements to a discussion of outcomes. Outcomes are the big picture that acts as an anchor for whole efforts and which is continuously broken down into more and more detailed product backlogs.
Running an experiment is trivial: Make a change and see what happens. Running experiments at scale, however, is a different story. It is not trivial to simultaneously run hundreds of experiments across 100 million users. It’s not trivial to cover dozens of platforms and markets while staying on top of the technical and methodological complexities.
The notion of product is important in Scrum. Many qualify it as a product development approach rather than a project management framework. The product owner role is responsible that the production of the Scrum team meets the requirements of the customers and deliver value for the organization. This role is often compared to the role of product manager. In his article “Mapping the Product Manager Role to the Product Owner Role”, Sriramasundararajan Rajagopalan discusses if a product manager is the same as a product owner.
With Agile practices becoming more and more common, the call for Product Leadership has never been louder. Product owners are drowning in feature alignment and internal stakeholder discussions, slowed by technical and organizational complexity, crippled by a risk-averse company culture and focused on internal risks rather than market outcome. Long ago the Samurai learned that Agility in itself is not enough. Leadership comes from an unwavering vision, clear values and relentless exercise of martial practices (kata).
If Scrum and Agile approaches are supposed to increase the chances of success for software development projects, not all the projects that want to use Scrum are successful. In this article, John Yorke shares his opinion on why Agile projects might fail because of the confusion between the roles (ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Developer) of a Scrum Team and the required Agile mindsets.