The most important quality of a backlog is that it is prioritized to optimize the value of the work performed by the development team. To optimize value, Product Owners need to collaborate with their existing and potential customers to identify unmet needs and shows them through Product Backlog Items. The focus of this webinar was how Product Owners and Scrum Teams could collaborate with people outside the organization to identify the most valuable backlog items.
Top 3 Questions Asked
Jurgen De Smet: Jurgen De Smet is an Agile and executive coach, trainer, and collaboration architect. He started to really learn (read: out of school) in 1996 within Software Development environments all over Europe. Since 2006, Jurgen has been designing work activities and processes using game techniques with a focus on collaboration, engagement, and fun. Throughout the years, he acquired the practice and skills to design and facilitate Innovation Games ®, Gamestorming, Business Model Generation, and other highly collaborative workshops in many different domains and on many different levels.
George Schlitz: George has worked for over 13 years combining knowledge from the fields of systems thinking, operations management, complexity with improvement paradigms in his consulting work. George co-founded BigVisible Solutions, a consultancy focused on Agile product development methods, and was instrumental in growing the company to become the industry leader in agile coaching. He also worked as a consultant for companies like Computer Sciences Corporation. Practical experience with the challenges of introducing significant change in organizations of many sizes was instrumental in developing ObjectiveChange's vision and approach to continuous improvement to a more broad set of challenges. George’s education includes an MBA from Bentley University, a BBA in Operations Management with a primary focus on continuous improvement paradigms, and a BS in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Luke Hohmann: Luke Hohmann is the founder and CEO of Conteneo In.(formerly the Innovation Games Company). Conteneo's enterprise software platforms and professional services merge collaboration frameworks, data analytics, and domain expertise to help organizations optimize decision making in the areas of strategy, innovation, sales, product development, and market research. Luke is also co-founder of Every VoiceEngaged Foundation, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit that helps citizens, governments, and other nonprofit organizations collaborate at scale to solve technical and wicked problems.
Answer: This is all context dependent but I would consider a PO to be aware of competition, other products in the same problem space and overall market in order to understand how to differentiate and generate the best possible value.
Answer: Give them the coaching they need to succeed, help them find a job that is more suited to their values and skills or terminate their employment. Scrum and Agile represent new ways of working motivated by a different set of values. Not everyone shares these values and not everyone wants to work this way – and you can’t force them to access the values. My experience in large transformations is that somewhere between 10% and 20% of the people leave the organization because they don’t want to embrace the values and practices of Scrum.
Answer: This highly depends on what you understand by backlog management, for me a PO should build a vision for the product, clearly communicate and build interest for that vision (externally/internally). With that established he/she makes decisions on what things to pursue or not while facilitating the process of clarifying requirements directly involving the teams building stuff. If the PO is the sole person handling requirements, then errors and systemic dysfunctions will occur as we just introduced a hand-off.