The product owner (PO) role is incredibly important in any Agile effort. The product owner leads, manages and prioritizes the backlog and networks with stakeholders, customers, and developers of all stripes.  All sorts of problems can beset the role. However, most of those problems are either self-inflicted or a result of poor organizational design.  A laundry list of problems based on observation and responses from other product owners include:

  1. Product Owners Are From IT
  2. Product Owners Are Not Part of The Team
  3. Having a Project versus Product Orientation
  4. Overly Broad and/or Ill-Defined Product Owner Role
  5. Using Proxy Product Owners
  6. Adopting Technical and Business Product Owners
  7. Allowing Part-time Product Owners
  8. Failure of Product Owner to Lead
  9. Product Owner with Controlling Personality

The next set of difficulties are: (more…)


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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 430  features an essay on product owners.  The product owner role is nuanced, always complicated and sometimes hard.  The essay will help you sort things out.  

Steve Tendon brings another chapter in his Tame The Flow: Hyper-Productive Knowledge-Work Performance, The TameFlow Approach and Its Application to Scrum and Kanban, published by J Ross (buy a copy here) to the cast.  In this installment we talk about Chapter 15, Understanding the Impact of a Constraint.  In our discussion Steve schooled me a bit on constraints.

Gene Hughson brings his  Form Follows Function Blog (the same Gene, that Ryan Ripley called out on last week’s cast) to the cast this week to discuss the third in his series on leadership.  This week we discussed the antipattern Gene calls The Thinker.  Might sound good, but it isn’t.

Have you checked out Agile for Humans? If not please do.  If you are an Agile for Humans listener visiting the Software Process and Measurement Cast for the first time, WELCOME. I hope you subscribe and make us part of your weekly ritual.

Re-Read Saturday News

This week  we tackle Chapter 3 in Carol Dweck’s Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (buy your copy and read along). In Chapter 3 Dweck provides a deep dive into how mindsets affect learning and teaching.  The impact of mindsets on how we learn or how we teach is useful knowledge for anyone involved in coaching or transformation.

Every week we discuss a chapter then consider the implications of what we have “read” from the point of view of someone pursuing an organizational transformation and also how to use the material when coaching teams.  

Remember to buy a copy of Carol Dweck’s Mindset and read along!

Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.

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