There has been a great deal written about the role of the Product Owner in Scrum over the years and it appears to me that inside the last month or so the question has received a lot of attention in blogs, twitter along with other social media. I don’t feel there’s a “best practice” answer. Let’s examine what we do know and then see if we can discover an answer. The objective of the Product Owner need to be to deliver the right company value. To do this they, engage the team(s) to generate solutions that deliver the business value.
They’re listening to and evaluating the wants of the stakeholder community. They should have a great organization sense and realize their marketplace and buyers. They should understand what’s technically achievable. From all this input they deliver a stream of input to the team about what the priorities are. They’re continuously updating this details and evaluating the output of the team to check it for completeness and correctness. While the team has the same goal of delivering enterprise value, their dilemma space is a lot various. In all but trivial domains and projects this requires a team approach. Team constructing just isn’t about income. Ask Yankees owner George Steinbrenner!
Team developing is not about technologies or computers. Team creating is about folks. However the troubles faced by the team in delivering the solutions is about technologies. The team takes direction (course) from the Product Owner, but the he or she cannot work within the engine room of the Scrum ship! It is not that they’re not qualified (they may possibly not be) , it is just that their primary role is so crucial and time consuming they could be neglecting that duty if they did. The team ought to take the direction (course) from the Product Owner. Their work demands their total attention. We know all this. The real question is how do we very best generate the communication and feedback that the Product requirements so that the enterprise might be productive and thrive? Scrum offers a fantastic starting point. Lean helps us recognize the product view and the flow of enterprise value. The process of planning a product release must include input from the team. Sprint planning is really a cooperative process between the Team and also the Product Owner.
The every day stand-up is a Team meeting that’s core to team developing. Scrum tells us that the product management team can listen to this meeting, however it will be the Team’s meeting. If I were a Product Owner, I could be at the every day stand-up if at all feasible. The Sprint review and demo are about the Team acquiring feedback from the Product Owner and any person interested. If I were on a team I would In no way go into a Sprint review without having understanding what the Product Owner thought of the Sprint output. The Sprint retrospective is really a Team meeting. This meeting is primarily focused on team constructing and process refinement. This wants to be a private Team meeting.
Can the Product Owner be a benefit to the Team within the daily process of developing the solution? That depends. Just how much time do they have? How well do they realize the technologies? How nicely do they function within the Team? Nobody can know the answers to these questions without observing the Product Owner and also the Team. Will the Product Owner be a valuable, accepted and valuable member of the Team? That depends. Can the Product Owner deliver the stream of data and decisions to the team having a high level of accuracy? That depends. With all these unknowns, I don’t believe that any person can say how any specific Product Owner and Team is going to be able to work together greatest without having some first-hand knowledge.
When I’m acting as the Agile Coach, I suggest that the Product Owner begin out somewhat restrained in their interaction with the Team although the Team figures out how to be a team. I’m not saying that they need to not be obtainable and ought to not speak up when there is an problem. I coach them to not inject themselves into the Team. As the Team matures and as the Product Owner gets accustomed to their new role this could change, but any alter that I suggest will be to boost specific process and communication problems. The Scrum Master, if they have the experience, can and should help with this. However new organizations would do well to obtain an experienced Agile Coach to assist with this along with the other problems of being a lot more Agile and delivering much more business value.