Today’s post is adapted from the original "Five Things a Product Owner Needs to Know", available on this link.
For many times the importance of the Product Owner (PO) may be overlooked in relation to other actions os Scrum project. If it happens, it is certain that the project will not have the expected success. So, this role is as important as the others and requires a professional able to perform it.
The text of this post is directed to the PO and brings five tips to contribute to the successful performance of its role in Scrum projects. Let’s get right to these tips!
1. Trust is key
The PO has the knowledge of business rules of backlog items. However, since the PO has no development experience, maybe here are backlog items with technical knowledge difficult to understand. The tip here is to have the support of development team to explain the technical details of such stories, so that the PO can prioritize them correctly.
Also, if development team (from here I will only call "team") suggest changes, probably they will bring benefits that can accelerate development, make the code more reliable, and increase product performance. In other words, listen to the feedback of your team, as it can be a valuable complement to the product.
2. PO’s job is to serve the team
The ultimate goal of development is to launch, in time, an excellent product. The PO should try to be available as soon as possible and answer question from team.
If the team is working with Sprint of 2 weeks (10 working days), imagine if there is an impediment to paralyze the work for 1 day, it means that 10% of available work time was thrown away.
3. User insights are essential
It is essential PO understand the people who will use the product. The better understanding of end user, better will be direction of the product, its features and business rules. Nothing is more important than spending time understanding the end user.
Although it seems difficult, the goal is to achieve the best balance between what you know the product needs and what is value to users.
4. The team often fails
Even the team is very productive in a Sprint, it does not necessarily mean that the next will also be a success. The ups and downs of the development process are normal, unpredictable and can occur due to various internal and external factors.
The truth is that success or failure of Sprint is not as important as the team capacity to deliver value. Thus, there is no reason to despair if one or two backlog items are not approved at end of Sprint.
Scrum teams are always trying to improve at every Sprint. The PO should trust the team and know that, eventually, failures may occur because team decided to test new techniques, or defined a very ambitious goal.
5. PO is not project manager
This tip is for PO not try to embrace the world with their arms. This is impossible!
The PO does not need and should not worry about team schedule, how they allocate their work, or how they plan Sprints. PO job is only to set priorities and provide valuable feedback to team.
Only developers fully understand details of their work. If the PO tries to control aspects of development past these levels, then the project may be fated to frustration and unhappiness.
To let the team be self-organizing and rely on their way to work will save time and make life and work easier for everyone.
Did you like the tips? Disagree? Got any more tip to add? You are invited to comment and share your thoughts and ideas with us.
Till next post!