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RE: [leanagilescrum] Re: Managers as Scrum Masters

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  • Skip Angel
    Actually, I have seen it the other way around *if* there are two roles. The Product Manager is usually the long-range person and is involved in not only
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 2, 2007
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      Actually, I have seen it the other way around *if* there are two roles.


      The Product Manager is usually the long-range person and is involved in not only setting strategic direction for the product but all other activities typical with such a role such as Marketing, Competitive Analysis, Budgets, etc.


      The Product Champion is usually the customer “proxy”, the person who is able to work with the team full-time.   Their primary role is to ensure that the Product Backlog is ready for the team.   Ready means clearly defined stories that are sized to fit into iterations and prioritized by business value.   They should be constantly monitoring changes and progress inside and outside the team to the product and determine changes that need to be made in future iterations.  They should define clear goals at both the iteration and release levels for the team.  They should also be there for the team to ask questions about the business – what does the customer really want?


      In Scrum, the role is usually called Product Owner but I don’t like the term Owner.  That makes it sound like they have complete authority and responsibility for what goes into the product.   The Champion term is much more suitable in that they help the team understand what is important for the product and help make decisions with the team as the solution unfolds.


      Skip Angel, Sr. Consultant

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      From: leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of abcleech
      Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:08 PM
      To: leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [leanagilescrum] Re: Managers as Scrum Masters


      I like the idea of Product Champion as you describe it. That person
      could possibly do everything you list, but what I often see is that
      the workload for that role is too staggering for them to carry out the
      job well. Hence, the creation of a product manager who focuses on the
      tactical development, leaving the product champion to cover the
      strategic & organizational planning aspects, and the project
      manager/scrum master focusing on the process and the health of the
      team - the how of product development if you will. The PM/SM position
      also providing the discipline to adhere to the development methodology.

      Bill Leech
      CNET Networks

      --- In leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com, "MaryP" <maryp@...> wrote:

      > I spend quite a few years being a product champion. It took teams of
      > approximately 30 people - more or less - about 18 months - more or
      less - to
      > commercialize a brand new product. During this time each technical
      > specialty had people on the team, and their immediate supervisors were
      > responsible for assigning them, making sure they were trained in their
      > individual specialties, and had the necessary backup to be sure that
      > specialty area was done correctly and according to the latest
      > As product champion, I was responsible for running team meetings,
      > obstacles, making sure that everyone was in sync, scheduling gate
      > helping people on the team look good in front of their bosses, and -
      by the
      > way - I was responsible for the business success of the product.
      > the team as a whole worked on the system design, I (and my boss)
      worked on
      > adding the right additional people to the team to match the
      > getting funding when necessary, etc. Groups of team members (including
      > especially those developing the product) called on potential
      customers to
      > better understand the market, etc. We had a marketing person on the
      > as well as an accountant, development people, QA, manufacturing, tech
      > service - everyone necessary to make sure we - as a TEAM -
      understood the
      > market commercialized a successful product. Think of the team as a
      > entrepreneurial company, but inside of a big company.
      > I do not think of a product champion as "being off being a business
      > champion." The product champion is the team leader first, making
      sure that
      > the team works together and works well. Team improvement is handled
      by the
      > team and champion, but specialty area process improvement is the
      role of the
      > team members' supervisors. The team as a whole assumes as part of
      its job
      > the business responsibility, so the champion is not "off"
      about the
      > business. That is something that the whole team does. The
      reasoning here
      > is that an engaged, team MUST be deeply engaged in the business in
      order to
      > become passionately committed to business success. I do not like
      the idea
      > that there is a "channel" (sometimes called product owner,
      > product manager) who makes all of the business calls and hands them
      off to
      > the team. This is a sub-optimized model, where the team is not
      allowed to
      > get engaged in business success.
      > True, when there is no other team leader, there needs to be a Project
      > Manager or a Scrum Master or someone like that. But why not someone
      who is
      > allowed/expected to be a real leader, who helps the team as a whole
      > business success?
      > Mary Poppendieck
      > www.poppendieck.com
      > Author of: Lean Software Development & Implementing Lean Software
      > Development
      > From: leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com
      > On Behalf Of aalanatlas
      > Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 4:12 PM
      > To: leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [leanagilescrum] Re: Managers as Scrum Masters
      > Mary, I love your model (except I don't know where I personally would
      > fit in it). So far, though, in my experience it seems a bit simpler
      > and more perfect than reality will allow. So I still see a third leg
      > on your leadership stool, and the Scrum Master is that leg. While the
      > champion is championing the business and the supervisor is training
      > people across many product teams, somebody needs to pay attention to
      > the self-organizing team churning away to produce product.
      > For instance, continuous improvement of the process itself, at the
      > team level, is an important part of a Lean/Agile implementation, at
      > least as I understand it so far. In my Lean readings, I read about how
      > the manager should be establishing the current standard for doing
      > things and then improving it constantly. That process is very
      > team-specific, and it requires somebody intimately familiar with the
      > team to tune it. That seems like something the Scrum Master can lead
      > more successfully than either the champion, the supervisor, or the
      > team itself.
      > The other thing missing from this discussion is the thing I spent most
      > of my time doing as a Scrum Master, which is removing impediments.
      > From missing specs and other dependencies from outside groups to
      > infrastructure needs (both hardware and software) to protection from
      > outside meddling, impediment removal (and sometimes identification,
      > too) is an important Scrum Master task that I do not see fitting well
      > either with the business champion or the people supervisor.
      > Sure, maybe the champion is capable of doing this stuff, or maybe the
      > supervisor is, but I at least found that just doing these things
      > directly with the team was more than a fulltime job. And I know that
      > champion is a full time job at my current company. I believe you when
      > you say that your two-pronged model has been used and worked well. I
      > just can't quite imagine it myself.
      > alan
      > --- In leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:leanagilescrum%40yahoogroups.com> , "Mary
      Poppendieck" <maryp@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > Hi David,
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Here's what I've seen work very successfully in an organization
      > > tens of thousands of people engaged in product development:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > People are hired by and report to supervisors or managers who are
      > > responsible for their training and career development and
      supplying them
      > > with leadership in an area of a technical specialty. Supervisors are
      > > competent to act as technical leaders in the area they supervise,
      > > they have technical expertise in the area themselves. They understand
      > > that their job is to create and preserve knowledge in their field and
      > > "grow people" who are competent in the field. (Think of a
      > > professor at a university, but in a company.)
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > People are assigned by their supervisor or manager to work on a
      > > teams, which are led by a competent technical leaders who also has a
      > > deep understanding of the market and are responsible for the business
      > > success of the product. (We called these people product champions.)
      > > The champion provides team leadership, while supervisors assign
      > > to the team and makes sure they have the guidance, technical
      support and
      > > backup when they need it. The champion is not a ScrumMaster in the
      > > sense of being a process leader, because champions also lead the
      team in
      > > accomplishing most of the work Scrum assigns to the Product Owner:
      > > getting a good sense of what customers really want, deciding how to
      > > prioritize the work, etc. In addition, they provide the technical
      > > guidance of a technical architect, or make sure that such
      leadership is
      > > in place.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > In some companies the champion is more than one person, but if so,
      > > people in this role are "joined at the hip" in the sense of
      > > working together to accomplish the job of a champion.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > In this kind of an environment, a process leader might be needed
      when a
      > > new process is introduced, but over time leadership devolves to
      > > supervisors - who grow people - and champions - who grow
      > > businesses.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Mary Poppendieck
      > >
      > > 952-934-7998
      > >
      > > www.poppendieck.com <http://www.poppendieck.com/>
      > >
      > > Author of: Lean Software Development & Implementing Lean Software
      > > Development
      > >
      > > --- In leanagilescrum@yahoogroups.com
      > <mailto:leanagilescrum%40yahoogroups.com> , "David Starr"
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I want to follow up on this with all due respect and as a
      admirer of
      > > your
      > > > work.
      > > >
      > > > Have you genuinely seen this come to complete fruition in an
      > > organization
      > > > with over 50 people?
      > > >
      > > > Is it not fair to see the role of personnel supervisor and that
      of SM
      > > as
      > > > having separate accountability? To be frank, it is sometimes
      > > in
      > > > the course of human events to tell a team of people what to do.
      > > >
      > > > While one team may embody self organization and emergent
      behavior, an
      > > > identically empowered team in the next room may tend toward
      > > The
      > > > difference hinges on the individuals who compose the teams.
      > > >
      > > > I am not speaking theoretically here, but from experience. 2
      > > > composed teams, 2 rooms, 1 Scrum Master for 2 teams, 2 amazingly
      > > different
      > > > outcomes. Why? Because some people need to be led and when the
      team is
      > > > composed without a natural leader, entropy occurs.
      > > >
      > > > David Starr
      > > > http://elegantcode.com
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > On Nov 16, 2007 2:40 PM, MaryP maryp@ wrote:
      > > >
      > > > > I think that the ScrumMaster role (as canonically defined)
      > > the
      > > > > job of a good first line supervisor / team lead. When
      supervisors /
      > > team
      > > > > leaders understand that their job is to solve problems
      > > barriers),
      > > > > preserve knowledge (act as teachers), and grow people (help
      > > reach
      > > > > their full potential), the organization probably doesn't
      > > processes
      > > > > leaders.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Mary Poppendieck
      > > > >
      > >

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