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50488Re: [scrumdevelopment] Who is the Product Owner?

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  • Chuck B
    Mar 5, 2011
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      Jalilnejad,

      > But a good enough "Proxy PO" with full time availability and development background is also fine.

      I would add a couple more traits for the Proxy PO:
      • Has excellent communication skills, most notably the ability to collaborate with the real customers/stakeholders to ascertain the real vision and priorities.
      • Has a background in good requirements techniques.
      • Has a significant amount of Scrum knowledge, significantly moreso than a typical "Customer PO" would have.  Preferably someone certified as a PO.
      Roman's book has some good sections in his book(http://bit.ly/gJliYy) on qualities of a good PO(see chapter 1).  Mike Cohn also covers some tradeoffs for different kinds of "User Proxies" in his book(http://bit.ly/gQGHz6) too.  Cohn comes at it from a different angle, but many of the same tradeoffs apply.

      Said another way:

      If you listed the top 10 qualities(in order of preference) of a good PO, here is what I would go for:
      You can assume that #1 would be that the PO is a major user(or business user, business owner) in the system and is fully empowered to make vision decisions, and
      You can assume that #2 would be that the PO spends 70%+ of their time with the dev team.

      Customer Proxy:  Has #1, has 2-3 of the other top 10 qualities, but will probably have to be taught many of the other qualities.
      Proxy PO:  Since they don't have #1, they need to have #2, and they need to be solid in 5-7 of the other top qualities to make up for the fact that they don't have quality #1.

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



      From: M.Jalilnejad <M.Jalilnezhad@...>
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, March 4, 2011 5:52:50 AM
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Who is the Product Owner?



      Thanks all,
      Very great. I got the answer. I surprised. I didn't expect to get the answer so soon. It shows that I selected the right place to ask
      Let me summarize. The ideal PO is a "Customer PO" with real vision , full time commitment and Scrum awareness. But a good enough "Proxy PO" with full time availability and development background is also fine.
      In think personal characteristics of a PO is somewhat/sometimes influential. (It seems so clear to say ;) )


      Regards
      Jalilnejad,

      On Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 9:12 PM, Charles Bradley - Scrum Coach CSM PSM I <chuck..> wrote:
       

      > 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/





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