Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [scrumdevelopment] Tips for hiring a Product Owner

Expand Messages
  • Markus Silpala
    ... I ve tried to do that in the past, but did not find much success. It led to some goldplating and discussions that went too easily into the weeds as the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 2, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      On Jun 1, 2008, at 12:25 PM, Rob 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?

      I've tried to do that in the past, but did not find much success. It led to some goldplating and discussions that went too easily into the weeds as the team argued over their differing guesses at business needs. Have you succeeded with that approach in the past or present? I'd be interested to hear of some positive cases.

      Tangential side-question: were you in the Sunday morning discussion of this at Agile Coach Camp?

      -Markus

    • Mike Sutton
      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
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        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
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
      • Rob Park
        Yep I was in that discussion at camp :) I have had success with this more than once. In 2 cases, there is someone that I normally refer to as the product
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Yep I was in that discussion at "camp" :)
           
          I have had success with this more than once.  In 2 cases, there is someone that I normally refer to as the product owner, but he is not always present and doesn't do all the deciding... he is always the "persona" that we use to qualify team choices however.
           
          What I'm against is the team trying to pass the buck in saying it's his fault or it's not our fault, we just don't have a product owner.  The healthier the team the more they are all thinking like the customer regularly anyway.
           
          .rob.

          On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 10:40 PM, Markus Silpala <msilpala@...> wrote:

          On Jun 1, 2008, at 12:25 PM, Rob 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?

          I've tried to do that in the past, but did not find much success. It led to some goldplating and discussions that went too easily into the weeds as the team argued over their differing guesses at business needs. Have you succeeded with that approach in the past or present? I'd be interested to hear of some positive cases.

          Tangential side-question: were you in the Sunday morning discussion of this at Agile Coach Camp?

          -Markus


        • Rob Park
          In my case, when I m on a team, I generally have the skills you refer to and will jump and do that myself, but I don t try to own it, but rather get it done
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 3, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            In my case, when I'm on a team, I generally have the skills you refer to and will jump and do that myself, but I don't try to "own" it, but rather get it done and push it to others as much as possible, since I actually would prefer to be coding. :)
             
            .rob.

            On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 5:34 AM, Mike Sutton <mike.sutton@...> wrote:

            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
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >


          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.