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Product Owner Articles

How does a product owner integrate into a Scrum Team?

A scrum team consists of a Scrum Master, a Product Owner, and a team of developers. Outside of software environments, developers are the people who do the work. From content creators to writers throug…

Do you need project management experience to be a product owner?

No, you do not need project management experience to become a product owner. A product owner is like the CEO of the product. They work with elements such as product scope, cost management, risk manage…

Is a product owner a member of the development team?

They can be. In start-up environments, they often are. The CEO or founder has an idea and then sets about creating the product or service in alignment with their vision and mission for the product. In…

How is a product owner different from a project manager?

They are vastly different roles. A project manager is primarily concerned with the delivery of products within a predetermined time frame. A product owner is primarily concerned that the right product…

How is a product owner different to a product manager?

Often, a product owner is a product manager. It is the role that differs rather than the title. A common misconception is that a Product Manager is outward looking whilst a product owner is internal. …

Do Senior Users Make Good Product Owners?

Few people would disagree that the Product Owner is a critical role in agile teams. That means that organisations often want to ensure that the product owner is as effective as possible – and th…

Is your Agile getting stale? Take the Mani-fresh-to Challenge today!

TLDR; Everything changed in 2020, even the Scrum Guide got an update, but the Agile Manifesto didn’t. With my good friend Chris, we came up with an idea to re-develop it and in the process, really pic…

Essential Skills – Critical Analysis

In a recent conversation with Tyrrell Basson from Manchester University, we explored the topic of ‘essential skills’ for the future. What skills would be necessary for an organisation to succeed 12 mo…

Covid Hack – Technical Debt

We’ve all experienced massive disruption, complexity and ambiguity in the face of Covid-19 hitting the fan. It’s caused mayhem in many companies, and as people adapt to the new and foreseeable normal,…

Customers and Developers in the same room. WTF?

At the turn of the 20th Century, the father of modern Business Management – Frederick Winslow Taylor – discovered that he could significantly increase production output and decrease labour…

First they ignore you

‘How do I get the senior leadership team to buy into Agile?’ is a question I’m often asked. It’s a great question if the leadership team value the principles and values upon which Agile is built. It’s…

Stealth Agile

I recently connected with Tyrrell Basson from the University of Manchester in one of my ‘Ask me Anything’ one-to-one video conversations. Like most organisations, they are dealing with disruption on a…

Coronavirus and The Corner Shop – A Portrait of Agility?

If ever one wanted the ultimate portrait of a VUCA world – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous – the current crazy time through which we are living is it. The novel coronavirus, kn…

Agile Bootcamp #4 – Using Story Mapping to Teach Agile

User Story Mapping is a great technique to help teams explore their product scope and plan how they can deliver value to their customers as quickly as possible. Even for large and complex problems, te…

Agile Bootcamp #3 – Scrum Simulation with the Inception Deck

There are lots of ways to help introduce the concepts of Scrum to teams and to give them a chance to put their new knowledge into practice. I wanted to try something a little different. I wanted it to…

Agile Bootcamp #2 – Behind The Scenes at an Agile Bootcamp

The bootcamp is planned, the travel arrangements made and suitcases packed. Now, the hard work starts! After a long day travelling and a chunky time-shift, we arrived at our accommodation well into th…

Predict Success by Finding Problems

Agile was supposed to make things easier. It was supposed to fix the problems of large projects with big, up-front planning ending up delivering solutions that didn’t meet the customer need. Its focus…

The Scrum Framework

The Scrum Framework is an Agile framework within which various Agile methodologies can be both employed and deployed. Co-created by Dr. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber, Scrum serves as a framework fo…

Don’t look back in anger

Continuous improvement is a core agile principle. The retrospective is an important event in all agile methods and an ideal time for teams to identify improvements. Yet too often, retrospectives are i…

Ways for a group to reach a decision

There are always moments in a project when decisions must be made. How those decisions are reached will vary according to circumstance. What is ultimately important, however, is to have the support of…

Feedback: it’s not what you get, it’s what you do with it

When teaching Scrum a large part of the information is around feedback: product feedback, process feedback, people feedback. Moreover, it would not make sense to not ask for feedback on us, as trainer…

Show Confidence

We hear a lot about confidence in the contexts of business, personal relationships, and just about every other element of life these days. People are always worried that they lack it, wonder how to ge…

A brief overview of Scrum

In this brief overview of Scrum, we introduce you to the Scrum Framework, roles within the Scrum methodology, and briefly touch on some of the key elements of Scrum. Scrum is a framework within which …

Sprint: the Heartbeat of Scrum

A Sprint, as described in the Scrum Guide, is a time-boxed period of one month or less during which the Development Team works to produce a “Done” product increment — a useable and potentially releasa…

What do Agile and Electricity have in Common?

In February, it will be 17 years since the writing of the Agile Manifesto. Much was, and still is, promised by those who espouse Agile frameworks. There is still a great excitement and appetite for in…

The Responsibility Process® in Action

Recently I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with Christopher Avery renewing my practice of responsibility. The workshop was on The Responsibility Process and how to lead and coach others in …

Everyone can lead an exceptional life

You may not know who Rick Rubin is but you definitely would have heard of his music. He has been a megastar producer for over 20 years, helping a hugely diverse group of artists along the way: Johnny …

A Simple Method for Breaking down Product Backlog Items into Tasks

During Sprint Planning many teams resist breaking down Product Backlog items selected into tasks, preferring to rely on gut feel and yesterday’s weather to give them confidence in their for…

What Role do Team Members Play in the Scrum Team?

Let’s get to know the different roles and responsibilities of each person in an agile development team. Just as there are several agile approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc … Let&#821…

Premature Estimation

Don’t worry.  It happens to a lot of people.  Really, it doesn’t matter. But deep down you know it does. You got ahead of yourself, got way too excited to get it done and you fin…

Sprint burndown charts: Grapes of Progress or Watermelon Surprise?

In a recent discussion with an ‘Argument of Agile Coaches’ (an apt collective noun for a group of coaches), the question was raised: “Do we really need sprint Burndown char…

What’s in a Name

Over the last few years, Agile has acquired a lot of unwanted baggage. Some of that baggage is as a result of botched transformation attempts. Some is from the pre-existing organisational dysfunctions…

What’s in it for you?

When starting any team, I ask a question that often shocks people in the room: What do you want to get out of this? At first I thought the shock was strange; Surely people are looking to get something…

Setting the agenda

At a client the meetings tend to wander, a habit the developers try to break but drift back into without realising; so when I came across a chapter on agendas in Jean Tabaka’s Collaboration Expl…

A community of thinkers

Saw this in the twittersphere yesterday and it really resonates with what I believe the software development, and IT community as a whole, should strive to attain. We may not all be there yet,  h…

Stop, reflect, resume

Yesterday, during sprint planning one of the team members said he didn’t see the point in sizing stories, particularly small ones that could be done in an hour or so. Instead, he’d rather …

Beware planning poker

Planning poker is the most common sizing tool used within the Scrum community. Straightforward and fairly quickly it can give teams a good idea of what they have in front of them without going too dee…

Understanding the mission

A very American phrase I know; but it hits right at the heart of many of the problems I’ve seen in software development teams, both Agile and waterfall. Put into more understandable terms, it me…