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50466Re: [scrumdevelopment] Who is the Product Owner?

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  • Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSM PSM I
    Mar 3, 2011
      > we'd ever release.  Get the real PO with the product vision, not some intermediate proxy.
      This usually brings up an interesting conundrum though.

      Often times, the "Customer PO" cannot commit to a full time commitment with the dev team.  Maybe their time commitment is something like 20%.  The good news is you have the real customer with the real vision.  The bad news is you have them only rarely, so they become a bottleneck pretty quickly.  Also, if they're new to Scrum or your requirements gathering techniques, that can also be bad news.

      OTOH, if you have a "Proxy PO", usually that is a full time commitment with the dev team, and usually the Proxy PO comes from a development background, or at least a requirements background.  The good news is you have someone full time supporting and collaborating with the dev team.  The other good news is that these proxies usually understanding requirements gathering and hopefully Scrum too.  The bad news is that the Proxy PO can create lots of waste if they don't do a good job of collaborating with the real customers/stakeholders to ascertain the real vision and priorities.

      Still others say somethign like "Well, if you can't get someone from the user/customer community to commit to being a full time PO, then the project should be defunded and/or deprioritized."  Not everyone buys into that view.

      I don't find the optimum solution to always be so black and white as "always get the customer if you can."  (I realize that is not exactly what Michael was saying.)

      I think the obvious great PO is someone from the user/customer community, committed 100%, and at least fairly well trained on Scrum and/or requirement gathering techniques (or maybe dev team members can assist with the requirements gathering).  I just find that to be a rare specimen in my experiences.

      Charles Bradley, CSM, PSM I
      Experienced Scrum Coach
      My blog: http://scrumcrazy.wordpress.com/

      From: Michael James <mj4scrum@...>
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thu, March 3, 2011 10:22:53 AM
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Who is the Product Owner?

      On Mar 3, 2011, at 7:01 AM, Alan Dayley wrote:

      > In my opinion, it should be someone who understands the customers.  Even better, the actual customer.

      Yes.  I was on a team that had breakthroughs because the customer finally took over the PO role.  Before then, scope was growing out of control and there was no way we'd ever release.  Get the real PO with the product vision, not some intermediate proxy.



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