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7154Re: [agile-usability] Product Owner models for distributed teams?

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  • William Pietri
    Sep 15, 2010
      On 09/15/2010 03:28 PM, allisonweiss wrote:
      > We have a distributed team where everyone but the business resides and works together in one state and the business is in another state, 2 hours later. There has been a significant change in personnel in the business and there is very little in terms of 'subject matter expertness' and/or agile Product Ownership skills. Conversely, the development/testing team has had very little turnover recently. While they are relatively new at scrum and not complete business SME's, there is a lot of product knowledge on the team.
      > Any suggestions on how to fill our product owner role in this environment?

      In my view, it's vital to have somebody in the room who can speak
      authoritatively about the product. So in your shoes I'd probably take
      the most experienced, broad-thinking tester and make them de facto
      product manager, treating the far-off businesspeople like external
      stakeholders. In effect, this would make your collocated team a small
      development company, with one very important customer.

      That would allow you to isolate your team from the chaos and keep them
      productive while you figure out the right long-term relationship with
      the business stakeholders. Maybe they'll get involved and come out every
      other week, in which case your local product manager mainly acts as an
      information cache and reporting agent. Maybe they'll neglect you,
      benignly or otherwise, in which case your product manager will have wide
      latitude. Either way, you'll be isolated from the productivity-sapping
      effect of distant, possibly unhelpful overlords.

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