Sunday, 6 October 2013

Certified Scrum Product Owner - Mission, Principles and Approach


I’ll be embarking on the ‘Certified Scrum Product Owner’ course tomorrow. Ye gods I hear you cry, ‘You’re going to be certified (or certifiable)!’ and ‘It’s methodology specific, what about context, won’t somebody please think of the context?’ 

Before we all get bent (!) out of shape, hear me out. For a great many activities I undertake I define a mission (my statement of intent), principles (thoughts that may guide me) and an approach (how I will behave, act and actions I’ll take).


My Mission
‘In my recent experience, a lack of focus on return on investment has led to a number of unsuccessful product outcomes and identified a gap in my knowledge. Testing is rooted in return on investment (time, effort, thought) and more empathy with a Product Owner and the decisions made can help focus testing on what’s really important.’
My Principles

  • The course I am about to embark on is theory. Theory is a good grounding but context remains as the focus. I remind myself, ‘there are no best practices only good practices in context.’
  • The skills I learn will be added to my overall toolkit, for me, the certification is arbitrary but welcome. The expansion of the tools I have is the aim.
  • Quality can be defined as value to ‘some person.’ That ‘some person’ may have a stake in the Product. I’ll bear this in mind when discussing quality on the course.
  • Testing and return on investment are interdependent. Development on a product can be subject to a similar law of diminishing returns as the amount of testing executed is.
  • Acknowledge the bias I bring to the course. I approach the course as a tester, which influences my focus and aims.
My Approach

  • Make my mission available to all participants, accept challenges and critically assess that mission on a continuous basis.
  • Listen (yes, I do need to remind myself to do this)
  • Learn, engage with the new, and contrast that with your current world view.
  • Identify where the knowledge is of use to you in the ‘real world.’ Plan to apply that. 

So, those are my thoughts, I sincerely hope that what I learn will dramatically change these ideas. I will create a review blog and let you know how I got on!



3 comments:

  1. The product owner is someone who has an in-depth knowledge about business needs for the product being delivered. The product owner has to be an individual as the decision making power cannot be given to a team. If there is a team of stakeholders that helps the product owner, the final decision making power should lie with the product owner .

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    Replies
    1. Hi Casey

      I agree up to a point but the relationship between Product Owner and Team must have an element of give and take. Keeping the team engaged and focused on value (and not dictated to) is also part of the role for my money.

      As a Product Owner, I want teams to make some decisions. If you are doing your job, your team feel empathy with the business too, enabling them to make certain decisions with a nod in your direction so you can input if you need to.

      Large, paradigm shifts should be the reserve of the Product Owner as decision maker (as a heuristic). When in that role, I tend to sweat the small stuff on a periodic basis and do a deep dive on a story.

      Maybe thats just my style.

      Thanks

      Ash

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  2. Scrum has become one of the most popular Agile methodologies used for software and product development. Various factors have contributed to this popularity. The methodology works very well with complex projects where requirements change often and/or the technology is new and not used before.

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