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29688Re: Tips for hiring a Product Owner

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  • Mike Sutton
    Jun 3, 2008
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      Hey Rob,

      It does challenge current thinking, but its not so far fetched!
      Although in my experience - where teams have had to do this (and many
      have to when they suffer from 'the absent PO' smell), realise that
      they do not have the skills (business/communication etc) to

      a) elicit criteria from the stakeholders
      b) facilitate discussion amongst stakeholders in a way that doesn't
      impede the team (remember when the team is negotiating story discovery
      it isnt doing anything else - although I have seen teams send a pair
      as story scouts!)
      c) fight the corporate judo that is often required to ensure that the
      business value is properly appreciated by stakeholders and management.


      Markus - my suggestion would be get someone from the helpdesk (if
      there is one!) and make them the product owner. They know the product
      domain better than most, they have more than enough of the user
      experience (good and bad) to represent the user and they are motivated
      by getting the product built right so that they don't have to face
      angry customers when version 2 comes out! Look for someone untainted
      closer to first line (not technical resolution!).

      If you do look at an external PO, my suggestion would be to find
      someone (preferably a user!)in the same industry, so for a product for
      the common cold, get someone with who gets lots of colds!


      cheers
      mike.csm.csp.cspo.certified.certifiable.

      ps. I really enjoyed meeting you guys (rob and Markus) at
      agileCoachCamp!!! It was bloody awesome.


      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Park"
      <robert.d.park@...> wrote:
      >
      > Why do you feel that you have to have a person/team for product owner?
      > Could you challenge that thinking and get the "whole team" to
      discover the
      > stories and priorities from the right people, but as a team?
      >
      > .rob.
      >
      > On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 10:21 AM, Markus Silpala <msilpala@...> wrote:
      >
      > > Greetings all. I wonder whether anyone here has tips on how to
      hire a
      > > Scrum Product Owner from outside the company.
      > >
      > > Background: a client of mine is implementing Scrum for their software
      > > development. One clearly missing ingredient is a person or even
      > > appropriate group of people to play the role of Product Owner.
      > > Different sub-products have champions, but the job of prioritizing
      > > work often falls to or is driven through the CIO and the rest of the
      > > executive management team. That group doesn't often produce a clear
      > > vision and never has enough time to properly steer the team building
      > > the software.
      > >
      > > Bringing Scrum to the IT side has made the issue visible to the execs,
      > > so now they're looking to fill that role. Because there is no clear
      > > internal candidate, they may want to hire from outside. Any tips,
      > > pointers to content, or anecdotes would be appreciated. Thanks in
      > > advance!
      > >
      > > -Markus Silpala
      > > Coach/CSM/Developer in Minneapolis, MN
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
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