Sunday, January 15, 2012

Product Owner & the Team

Is the product owner a member of the team?  Yes. Fully and completely.

What is the biggest problem that most teams face? That, at the high level (value) or the low level (details), they don't understand what the customer wants well enough.  

And who is mainly responsible for managing the flow of this 'business information' into the Team?  The PO of course.

And this is a never-ending job. For example, at the lowest level imaginable, as they complete each step of work, he should be giving feedback: "well, that was not quite what I meant", meaning really "I don't think it is quite what the customer will want."

The feeding of the team, this feedback to the team of Devs (meaning, in overly simple terms, creators and testers) is essential.  And must be done daily.

When we start with a past tradition of thinking and working, there are many obstacles to this 'union' or yoking of the PO with the Devs. One is that the Devs wonder "what is that guy doing hanging around here?"  Another is that the PO feels kind of weird around all these geeks and their geek-talk.

But both sides need and will eventually learn how to live and work with each other.  It takes time.

Only together, as a full team, can they win.


Catherine C said...

Interesting post, I think what is missing here is not only dynamic bewteen other deptarments (i.e dev, PO, etc.) but the role that the customer plays in the overall process. Determining what the customer wants is much easier when you rely on product related insights.


Catherine C
OneDesk Inc

Joe Little said...

Hi Catherine,
Yes, many possible things missing, depending on the situation. In fact the way I said the things that I did might change too.

I am assuming that in some situations, the customer could be the PO.

Now, when you say 'customer' are you building a product for one client, or for many customers or clients?

Also, tell me more what you mean by 'product related insights'. In general, I find we try to hard to provide a product, and not enough to provide a (fuller) solution to a problem.

Tell me more...
Thx, Joe