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

Re: [!! SPAM] [scrumdevelopment] Re: techie as Product Owner?

Expand Messages
  • Adam Sroka
    ... I got your point ;-) I am writing this from my desk at my client s site. I am not writing this from my yacht. It follows that I have not discovered the
    Message 1 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 12:46 PM, Michael James <michael@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > I think people are missing the point of my topic. Lots of people
      > *can* do the PO role, and it will appear to go smoothly inside the
      > organization. But which choices have we seen lead to innovation?
      >

      I got your point ;-)

      I am writing this from my desk at my client's site. I am not writing
      this from my yacht. It follows that I have not discovered the magic
      formula for innovation.

      The fact is that most organizations that are wildly successful are
      every bit as dysfunctional as the ones that aren't. I think that Agile
      can help to produce higher, more consistent quality, rapid discovery,
      and adapting to change in the market and within the organization.

      If an Agile team is able to innovate they will discover more quickly
      if their innovations are successful or not. However, Agile will not
      cause you to innovate. I don't know how to do that. If I did, I
      wouldn't tell you until I bought that yacht :-)

      I also don't think that the PO should be the single point of
      innovation. As a programmer I'm not a fan of a single point of
      anything. When I hear the phrase "single wring-able neck" my brain
      translates that to "single point of failure." The fact is that POs,
      team members, and stakeholders should be talking to each other. If
      there is an opportunity to innovate in the market hopefully they will
      see that. If there is an opportunity to innovate technically hopefully
      they will see that as well. In either case it takes the whole team
      working together to take an innovative idea and capitalize on it in a
      meaningful way.
    • Tony Elmore
      Personal opinion... I think the PO should not be a techie. I want someone who knows the business (preferably has real work experience in the business area
      Message 2 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        Personal opinion... I think the PO should not be a techie.  I want someone who knows the business (preferably has real work experience in the business area affected by the system), still has their finger on the pulse of what is really going on, and has enough respect / authority / attitude / whatever to either make decisions that will hold up or get the decisions made quickly.

        I'd prefer my techies be able to 'speak business' over the PO being able to 'speak geek'... Oh, and I want my techies to respect the PO enough to explain the geek speak in a way the PO can understand it.  

        I think when the PO has that kind of relationship with the team, you see real differences...

        Tony


        On Nov 2, 2009, at 2:46 PM, Michael James wrote:

        I think people are missing the point of my topic. Lots of people 
        *can* do the PO role, and it will appear to go smoothly inside the 
        organization. But which choices have we seen lead to innovation?

        --mj

        On Nov 2, 2009, at 12:02 PM, Dan Rawsthorne wrote:

        > Well, the PO is who the PO is - the team member who has the "last say"
        > on the priorities of what the team does. If this person is technical,
        > that's cool. But whoever it is must empowered to make decisions when 
        > the
        > team needs them to be made. Many teams have no such person, so they 
        > are
        > doing ScrumBut (I don't have a PO). If you have the luxury of choosing
        > what type of person the Business will empower, then go ahead and 
        > choose
        > a techie or a BO, or whatever makes sense to you. But it's the
        > empowerment that counts, not the skillset.
        >
        > Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
        > Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
        > dan@..., 425-269-8628
        >
        >
        >
        > jamesjhawkins wrote:
        >>
        >>
        >> One of the principles of Agile as explained to me is Shared Knowledge
        >> between team members. It seems to me that the PO must take part in 
        >> that.
        >>
        >> In my experience, the PO does have to make some technical decisions.
        >> For example, they may have to set a relative priority on stories 
        >> where
        >> there are technical dependencies. Even if they don't understand the
        >> details, POs need at least enough technical knowledge to understand
        >> the explanations given by engineers in the Scrum. Put simply, they
        >> must be able to speak Geek.
        >>
        >> In this, I see the PO as something like a requirements analyst. In
        >> other words, they mediate between the technical and marketing people.
        >>
        >> Cheers, Jim
        >>
        >> P.S. Here's my blog post on Market vs Technology
        >> http://unmethodical .posterous. com/market- led-vs-technolog y-led-an- interlude
        >> In summary:
        >> The Market knows what it wants, but not what it can have
        >> Technology can innovate radically, but cannot place its innovations
        >> within easy reach
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- ------
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@ eGroups.com
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment- unsubscribe@ eGroups.comYahoo 
        > ! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >


      • Tony Elmore
        In the old world, technical background prevented team members from pulling the wool over the eyes ... In Scrum, they are accountable to each other - so it is
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          In the old world, technical background prevented team members from 'pulling the wool over the eyes'...  In Scrum, they are accountable to each other - so it is much more difficult to do that.

          "Vision is far more important" 
          Indeed...

          Tony


          On Nov 2, 2009, at 3:07 PM, Mark Levison wrote:

          I've seen innovation come from all sorts of PO's (or Product Management in the old world). I don't think a technical background matters in the least (unless you're trying to produce the next Basic). Vision is far more important.

          Cheers
          Mark

          On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 3:46 PM, Michael James <michael@danube. com> wrote:
           

          I think people are missing the point of my topic. Lots of people 
          *can* do the PO role, and it will appear to go smoothly inside the 
          organization. But which choices have we seen lead to innovation?

          --mj



          On Nov 2, 2009, at 12:02 PM, Dan Rawsthorne wrote:

          > Well, the PO is who the PO is - the team member who has the "last say"
          > on the priorities of what the team does. If this person is technical,
          > that's cool. But whoever it is must empowered to make decisions when 
          > the
          > team needs them to be made. Many teams have no such person, so they 
          > are
          > doing ScrumBut (I don't have a PO). If you have the luxury of choosing
          > what type of person the Business will empower, then go ahead and 
          > choose
          > a techie or a BO, or whatever makes sense to you. But it's the
          > empowerment that counts, not the skillset.
          >
          > Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
          > Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
          > dan@..., 425-269-8628
          >
          >
          >
          > jamesjhawkins wrote:
          >>
          >>
          >> One of the principles of Agile as explained to me is Shared Knowledge
          >> between team members. It seems to me that the PO must take part in 
          >> that.
          >>
          >> In my experience, the PO does have to make some technical decisions.
          >> For example, they may have to set a relative priority on stories 
          >> where
          >> there are technical dependencies. Even if they don't understand the
          >> details, POs need at least enough technical knowledge to understand
          >> the explanations given by engineers in the Scrum. Put simply, they
          >> must be able to speak Geek.
          >>
          >> In this, I see the PO as something like a requirements analyst. In
          >> other words, they mediate between the technical and marketing people.
          >>
          >> Cheers, Jim
          >>
          >> P.S. Here's my blog post on Market vs Technology
          >> http://unmethodical .posterous. com/market- led-vs-technolog y-led-an- interlude
          >> In summary:
          >> The Market knows what it wants, but not what it can have
          >> Technology can innovate radically, but cannot place its innovations
          >> within easy reach
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          > ------------ --------- --------- ------

          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@ eGroups.com
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment- unsubscribe@ eGroups.comYahoo 
          > ! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >



          Blog | Twitter | Office: (613) 761-9821


        • simons.online
          Most say, vision in some form is essential for a competent product person. Required technical background? It can t hurt to have a familiarity with the material
          Message 4 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            Most say, vision in some form is essential for a competent product person. Required technical background? It can't hurt to have a familiarity with the material that you're working with; similar to when an architect (one that designs buildings) knows wood, concrete, glass and steel. Depending on the product, tech knowledge makes more or less of a difference. It's probably not required in most cases, but beneficial. However, technology expertise must be involved in someway; if the product person doesn't have the tech expertise s/he should at least have some quality feedback loops with someone that does.

            Regarding your statement about "unimaginative project management layers," I can't disagree with that. Off the cuff, every place that worked (from enterprise level to start up environment) had too much project management (both processes and people.) The solution to bettering the overall situations was in working a little more sensibly versus adding more people and process.



            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Michael James <michael@...> wrote:
            >
            > We often say the Product Owner must have *vision* if we are to succeed
            > at innovation. I stumbled upon a slashdot article questioning whether
            > someone like Steve Ballmer (relatively non technical) can lead
            > innovation as well as someone like Bill Gates (who you may recall
            > wrote the most popular BASIC interpreters for early microcomputers): http://slashdot.org/story/09/10/31/2134237/Microsofts-Lost-Decade
            >
            > Other than those great Z80/8080/6502 BASIC interpreters, I haven't
            > been exposed to enough Microsoft products to judge the claims in the
            > article. I'm mentioning it here because so many companies either lack
            > visionary leadership, or inject unimaginative project management
            > layers that come between the visionary leadership and the
            > implementors. People without any real love for building things have
            > joined our industry, sometimes creating a short-term risk-averse focus
            > leading to boring products.
            >
            > The Product Owner role doesn't *require* any technical skills. But
            > would you expect more innovation when the PO had previously
            > demonstrated love for product development by getting his hands dirty
            > in it himself at some point? Or is there no correlation?
            >
            > --mj
            >
          • Roy Morien
            I see no reason why a techie can t be PO, except for the fact that a techie may not come from the user community and so probably is inappropriate on that
            Message 5 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              I see no reason why a 'techie' can't be PO, except for the fact that a 'techie' may not come from the user community and so probably is inappropriate on that basis alone.
               
              I have seen techies who can 'speak business', and I have seen PO 'candidates' who 'speak geek'. Equally I have seen techies who hold all things 'business' in contempt and derision, and PO guys who think techies are no more than beasts of burden and know enough about the technology to be dangerous (like the self-taught client who specified a specific memory size for his computers because he had calculated that his biggest file size was about that size and needed that amount of RAM to be able to be sorted). 
               
              It's the person who is important, and their attitudes, including willingness to learn and willingness to accept advice, and give advice where appropriate. AND their good understanding of requirements, priorities, business value etc.
               
              I speak from a position of having a foot in each camp, so to speak ... law, management, accounting background, and 30 years involved in developing systems and teaching about developing systems. I will say that this combination of experience and knowledge was not particularly acknowledged as being relevant until the late 90's. Up to that time I perceived a distinct separation of interests into the geek camp on one side and the business-side in the opposite corner.
               
              Regards,
              Roy Morien
               

               

              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              From: tony@...
              Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 15:41:20 -0600
              Subject: Re: [!! SPAM] [scrumdevelopment] Re: techie as Product Owner?

               
              Personal opinion... I think the PO should not be a techie.  I want someone who knows the business (preferably has real work experience in the business area affected by the system), still has their finger on the pulse of what is really going on, and has enough respect / authority / attitude / whatever to either make decisions that will hold up or get the decisions made quickly.

              I'd prefer my techies be able to 'speak business' over the PO being able to 'speak geek'... Oh, and I want my techies to respect the PO enough to explain the geek speak in a way the PO can understand it.  

              I think when the PO has that kind of relationship with the team, you see real differences. ..

              Tony


              On Nov 2, 2009, at 2:46 PM, Michael James wrote:

              I think people are missing the point of my topic. Lots of people 
              *can* do the PO role, and it will appear to go smoothly inside the 
              organization. But which choices have we seen lead to innovation?

              --mj

              On Nov 2, 2009, at 12:02 PM, Dan Rawsthorne wrote:

              > Well, the PO is who the PO is - the team member who has the "last say"
              > on the priorities of what the team does. If this person is technical,
              > that's cool. But whoever it is must empowered to make decisions when 
              > the
              > team needs them to be made. Many teams have no such person, so they 
              > are
              > doing ScrumBut (I don't have a PO). If you have the luxury of choosing
              > what type of person the Business will empower, then go ahead and 
              > choose
              > a techie or a BO, or whatever makes sense to you. But it's the
              > empowerment that counts, not the skillset.
              >
              > Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
              > Senior Coach, Danube Technologies
              > dan@..., 425-269-8628
              >
              >
              >
              > jamesjhawkins wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >> One of the principles of Agile as explained to me is Shared Knowledge
              >> between team members. It seems to me that the PO must take part in 
              >> that.
              >>
              >> In my experience, the PO does have to make some technical decisions.
              >> For example, they may have to set a relative priority on stories 
              >> where
              >> there are technical dependencies. Even if they don't understand the
              >> details, POs need at least enough technical knowledge to understand
              >> the explanations given by engineers in the Scrum. Put simply, they
              >> must be able to speak Geek.
              >>
              >> In this, I see the PO as something like a requirements analyst. In
              >> other words, they mediate between the technical and marketing people.
              >>
              >> Cheers, Jim
              >>
              >> P.S. Here's my blog post on Market vs Technology
              >> http://unmethodical .posterous. com/market- led-vs-technolog y-led-an- interlude
              >> In summary:
              >> The Market knows what it wants, but not what it can have
              >> Technology can innovate radically, but cannot place its innovations
              >> within easy reach
              >>
              >>
              >
              >
              > ------------ --------- --------- ------
              >
              > To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@ eGroups.com
              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: scrumdevelopment- unsubscribe@ eGroups.comYahoo 
              > ! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >






              Let us find your next place for you! Need a place to rent, buy or share?
            • Roy Morien
              Is Steve Jobs a techie? Is he the PO of developments such as iPhone etc.? Has he provided the vision? Regards, Roy Morien To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              Message 6 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Is Steve Jobs a techie? Is he the PO of developments such as iPhone etc.? Has he provided the vision?
                 
                Regards,
                Roy Morien
                 

                To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                From: simons.online@...
                Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 22:53:26 +0000
                Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Re: techie as Product Owner?

                 
                Most say, vision in some form is essential for a competent product person. Required technical background? It can't hurt to have a familiarity with the material that you're working with; similar to when an architect (one that designs buildings) knows wood, concrete, glass and steel. Depending on the product, tech knowledge makes more or less of a difference. It's probably not required in most cases, but beneficial. However, technology expertise must be involved in someway; if the product person doesn't have the tech expertise s/he should at least have some quality feedback loops with someone that does.

                Regarding your statement about "unimaginative project management layers," I can't disagree with that. Off the cuff, every place that worked (from enterprise level to start up environment) had too much project management (both processes and people.) The solution to bettering the overall situations was in working a little more sensibly versus adding more people and process.

                --- In scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com, Michael James <michael@... > wrote:
                >
                > We often say the Product Owner must have *vision* if we are to succeed
                > at innovation. I stumbled upon a slashdot article questioning whether
                > someone like Steve Ballmer (relatively non technical) can lead
                > innovation as well as someone like Bill Gates (who you may recall
                > wrote the most popular BASIC interpreters for early microcomputers) : http://slashdot. org/story/ 09/10/31/ 2134237/Microsof ts-Lost-Decade
                >
                > Other than those great Z80/8080/6502 BASIC interpreters, I haven't
                > been exposed to enough Microsoft products to judge the claims in the
                > article. I'm mentioning it here because so many companies either lack
                > visionary leadership, or inject unimaginative project management
                > layers that come between the visionary leadership and the
                > implementors. People without any real love for building things have
                > joined our industry, sometimes creating a short-term risk-averse focus
                > leading to boring products.
                >
                > The Product Owner role doesn't *require* any technical skills. But
                > would you expect more innovation when the PO had previously
                > demonstrated love for product development by getting his hands dirty
                > in it himself at some point? Or is there no correlation?
                >
                > --mj
                >




                Let us find your next place for you! Need a place to rent, buy or share?
              • Adam Sroka
                ... It would be an exceptionally bad idea to try to model your organization after Apple. If they are the model of anything it is of an organization that
                Message 7 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 9:12 PM, Roy Morien <roymorien@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Is Steve Jobs a techie? Is he the PO of developments such as iPhone etc.? Has he provided the vision?
                  >

                  It would be an exceptionally bad idea to try to model your
                  organization after Apple. If they are the model of anything it is of
                  an organization that continues to succeed despite itself. Arguably,
                  they are also a model of an organization that values technical
                  excellence over their own customers.

                  Steve Jobs is brilliant. Ask anybody who has worked for him and they
                  will agree. Then ask them whether you should model his behavior and
                  see what they say :D
                • Adam Sroka
                  P.S. Mac user since 1985. This message was written on a Mac.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    P.S. Mac user since 1985. This message was written on a Mac.

                    On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 9:23 PM, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:
                    > On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 9:12 PM, Roy Morien <roymorien@...> wrote:
                    >>
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> Is Steve Jobs a techie? Is he the PO of developments such as iPhone etc.? Has he provided the vision?
                    >>
                    >
                    > It would be an exceptionally bad idea to try to model your
                    > organization after Apple. If they are the model of anything it is of
                    > an organization that continues to succeed despite itself. Arguably,
                    > they are also a model of an organization that values technical
                    > excellence over their own customers.
                    >
                    > Steve Jobs is brilliant. Ask anybody who has worked for him and they
                    > will agree. Then ask them whether you should model his behavior and
                    > see what they say :D
                    >
                  • Roy Morien
                    hmmmm ... it looked just the same to me as if it had been written on my HP laptop with Vista :) To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com From: adam.sroka@gmail.com
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 2, 2009
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      hmmmm ... it looked just the same to me as if it had been written on my HP laptop with Vista :) 
                       
                       

                      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      From: adam.sroka@...
                      Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2009 21:25:40 -0800
                      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Re: techie as Product Owner?

                       
                      P.S. Mac user since 1985. This message was written on a Mac.

                      On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 9:23 PM, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@gmail. com> wrote:
                      > On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 9:12 PM, Roy Morien <roymorien@hotmail. com> wrote:
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> Is Steve Jobs a techie? Is he the PO of developments such as iPhone etc.? Has he provided the vision?
                      >>
                      >
                      > It would be an exceptionally bad idea to try to model your
                      > organization after Apple. If they are the model of anything it is of
                      > an organization that continues to succeed despite itself. Arguably,
                      > they are also a model of an organization that values technical
                      > excellence over their own customers.
                      >
                      > Steve Jobs is brilliant. Ask anybody who has worked for him and they
                      > will agree. Then ask them whether you should model his behavior and
                      > see what they say :D
                      >



                      Click Here View photos of singles in your area
                    • simons.online
                      Agile by itself is no guarantee for innovation, but a necessary condition? Maybe not agile, but some form of no nonsense process format is needed for effective
                      Message 10 of 18 , Nov 3, 2009
                      View Source
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Agile by itself is no guarantee for innovation, but a necessary condition? Maybe not agile, but some form of no nonsense process format is needed for effective collaboration to take place which often plays a role in successful innovations (this assumes that the product dev and technical implementation processes are integrated as they are sometimes separate cycles.)

                        According to some bios, Ken Schwaber has a background in product development. I wonder if any of that experience inspired/influenced the development of scrum. In my experience with product design, there is often an emphasis placed on small collaborative teams. It's not agile(scrum,) but I noticed some parallels.


                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Adam Sroka <adam.sroka@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 12:46 PM, Michael James <michael@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > I think people are missing the point of my topic. Lots of people
                        > > *can* do the PO role, and it will appear to go smoothly inside the
                        > > organization. But which choices have we seen lead to innovation?
                        > >
                        >
                        > I got your point ;-)
                        >
                        > I am writing this from my desk at my client's site. I am not writing
                        > this from my yacht. It follows that I have not discovered the magic
                        > formula for innovation.
                        >
                        > The fact is that most organizations that are wildly successful are
                        > every bit as dysfunctional as the ones that aren't. I think that Agile
                        > can help to produce higher, more consistent quality, rapid discovery,
                        > and adapting to change in the market and within the organization.
                        >
                        > If an Agile team is able to innovate they will discover more quickly
                        > if their innovations are successful or not. However, Agile will not
                        > cause you to innovate. I don't know how to do that. If I did, I
                        > wouldn't tell you until I bought that yacht :-)
                        >
                        > I also don't think that the PO should be the single point of
                        > innovation. As a programmer I'm not a fan of a single point of
                        > anything. When I hear the phrase "single wring-able neck" my brain
                        > translates that to "single point of failure." The fact is that POs,
                        > team members, and stakeholders should be talking to each other. If
                        > there is an opportunity to innovate in the market hopefully they will
                        > see that. If there is an opportunity to innovate technically hopefully
                        > they will see that as well. In either case it takes the whole team
                        > working together to take an innovative idea and capitalize on it in a
                        > meaningful way.
                        >
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.