Roles | The Product Owner

HA #38: AMA session with Roman Pichler: The Product Owner | 58 minutes
Age Of Product | Feb 08, 2022

Stefan Wolpers’ Hands-on Agile #38: AMA w/ Roman Pichler: The Product Owner | 58 minutes

Abstract
Stefan Wolpers’ AMA session with Roman Pichler on the role of the Product Owner.
Speaker: Roman Pichler | Host: Stefan Wolpers

My Notes:

Product Owner = Accountable for maximizing the value of the product
(Scrum Guide 2020)

What is a Product? An asset that creates value for
The users and customers
The company developing & providing it
(Searching for a product online = feature, not product)

What does it mean to own a product? It means
Being empowered to make strategic and tactical product decisions (own a product holistically, cf. Full Stack ownership)
Being responsible for achieving product success

Ownership Depth
Vision = what we want to achieve
Strategy = approach to get there
Tactics = information in the product backlog
Scrum Product Owner = Full stack ownership Vision/Strategy/Tactics
Product Manager in an Agile Context or Agile Product Manager
Compare w/ Partial Ownership
(SAFe = example) Product Owner = more a tactical role => product backlog, more inward facing, close to the Dev Team => Only partial ownership
(SAFe = example) Product Manager = for the Vision & strategic role

3 Scaling options
How to make it work? Get together and discuss it

About the Business Analyst

Characteristics of a great Product Owner
Available/full-time
Professional PO (=> focus on the role of PO)
Committed to the Product, to the People, to the Process
Qualified

About the Right Leadership

Backlog Management
Product Goal => only items that serve the product goal
Not too big, not too fast
Tie product backlog to product roadmap
Sometimes easier to start from scratch than try to make sense of a too large backlog (like thousand+ items)

Goals
Big products => Cascading goals
Mission statement
Challenge = Formulate the right goals & connect them in a meaningful way

Authors = Roman Pichler & Stefan Wolpers

URL = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbXzaHaorTc

Agile | Agile VS Waterfall

Advantages of Agile Product Methodology for Fast Growing Startups & Enterprises
B2C Business2Community | 19 April 2021

What is Agile Product Methodology?
Agile product methodology is a practice which promotes continuous development and testing of a software or product throughout the product development lifecycle. In this approach, both the development and testing activities remain concurrent.
Agile approach is known to be one of the most effective and simplest processes to turn a vision for a product into software solutions.

Agile Development Statistics:
85.9% of software developers around the world use Agile product methodology
Companies that use Agile approach for software development gain 60% more profits than those who don’t.
Agile success rates are more than 1.5x higher than those of Waterfall projects
According to Agile adoption statistics, plenty of Fortune 500 companies have adopted Agile

Agile Product Methodology Vs Waterfall Model
Waterfall Approach

  1. In the Waterfall approach, product development flows sequentially from one point to another; just like a Waterfall filling the next reservoir.
  2. Using Waterfall development means customers will see the product only at the end of the project
    Waterfall method is considered to be more secure because it is plan oriented.
  3. In the Waterfall method, errors are tested only when the whole product is ready. So, if changes are to be made, the product development has to start from the beginning.
  4. In the Waterfall method, product developers and testers work separately.
  5. All features of a software or product are delivered at once, at the end of the project, and after the long implementation phase.
    Agile Approach
  6. Agile method follows incremental approach to product development.
  7. Agile method promotes early launch of products. Customers get early and frequent chances to use the product. This helps product development teams in making decisions and do necessary changes to the product.
  8. Agile method is comparatively unstructured as compared to the Waterfall method.
  9. Agile allows product development teams to fix errors in the middle of the project. Within this method, teams continue to test products throughout the product life cycle and gain useful feedback from the customer.
    In the Agile method, both testers and product developers work together.
  10. In Agile product development mode, core features of a product are delivered to users, and new features are added over time.

Agile Methodology Advantages
Put simply, Agile is:
Iterative – involves regular rhythms of work
Incremental – requires product development teams to present product increment
Faster: It ensures faster reach to the market
Cost-Efficient: Agile reduces cost of development by allowing product development at the same time teams gather requirements and information
Responsive: product teams can respond immediately if there’s an unpredictable scenario and revamp the product accordingly.

How to Use Agile Methodology in Product Development
Agile teams follow these steps to create products:

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Create Backlogs
  3. Establish Sprints for Software Development
  4. Product Development
  5. Production and Deployment

Agile Product Development Processes (Framework)

  1. Scrum
  2. Kanban
  3. Extreme Programming (XP)

Case Study of Agile Methodology

Author = Chanakya Kyatham

URL = https://www.business2community.com/startups/advantages-of-agile-product-methodology-for-fast-growing-startups-enterprises-02394643

Scrum | Scrum VS Classic Project Management

Scrum or Classic Project Management: Which is Better?
Team Clarizen | Jul 12, 2021

Scrum project management is rooted in Agile methodology, which is a framework in which small teams carry out the incremental and iterative delivery of a product.

(…) There are generally two main types of methodologies exercised depending on project specs: Classic Project Management and Scrum.

(…) “The Iron Triangle” is a term for the basic foundation of any project management method and refers to the cost, schedule and scope of a project.
(…) Scrum is a process framework that was developed for project management after technology—and more specifically, software—became integral components of major projects. The term itself simply refers to an “ordered formation of players used to restart play,” and the method is all about prioritization and time-boxing over fixing the scope, schedule and cost of a project.

(…) The main difference between scrum and classic project management methodologies can be summed up as fixed scope vs. iterative decision making. Classic project management calls for project managers to look at the development as a whole whereas Scrum has no problem dividing it up into segments.

One of the largest discrepancies in the two techniques is due to the simple differences in terminology. The following are some ways in which the terms differ:
Schedule = Sprint (or Release)
Scope = Sprint Backlog
Work Breakdown Structure = Task Breakdown
Productivity = Velocity
Estimate to Complete = Burndown Chart

(…) Can You Use Both? If you can’t decide between the two, it’s perfectly acceptable for organizations to use both waterfall and scrum. It’s not uncommon for development teams to use a scrum method, for managers to use JIRA to handle their teams and for project managers within the same organization to use a waterfall method.

URL = https://blog.planview.com/scrum-classic-project-management-better/

Roles | Project Manager

Does a Project Manager fit into an Agile Framework?
Praecipio Consulting | Sep 18, 2020

Project Managers have a wide range of responsibilities when working on a project: they oversee planning the project, create a schedule and timeline, execute each phase, manage budgets, serve as the liaison among all stakeholders, and also troubleshoot and maintenance, plus whatever other tasks that get added to their plate. As such, a Project Manager (PM) must be very organized and detail oriented. They also need to have great people skills because at the end of the day, this person is responsible for leading the team and communicating with all involved parties.

The Project Management Institute describes the role of a project manager as someone who acts as an agent of change. Someone who “makes project goals their own and uses their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team.”

PMs serve as leaders. Aside from ensuring the project is delivered on time and within the agreed-upon budget, they also encourage their teams and inspire their clients. They need to solve problems as they arise with strong critical-thinking capabilities while also possessing strong communication skills to ensure everyone remains informed, motivated, and onboard.

A good PM delivers a final product on time, on budget while meeting or exceeding client expectations. Tracing projects back to business goals is becoming increasingly necessary for project managers.

(…) The Agile framework focuses on self-organization and team empowerment rather than defining specific roles, which is why there is no need for a Project Manager in the traditional sense; the role is pretty much covered between all the existing roles.

(…) An Agile organization can- and does- function well without a Project Manager. However, there is a huge potential for a PM skill set to add value to an organization, specifically on large projects. I have worked in QA Testing across various complex projects for the past five years, and it is clear to me that a PM can greatly impact both the journey and outcome of the project in regard to budget and risk management, as well as coordination between multiple scrum teams.

In an Agile environment, a Project Manager can add value by managing key aspects of every project, overseeing budgets, risks, etc., especially on large scale projects for enterprise organizations. Having a Project Manager also frees up the Scrum Master to focus solely on his or her core functions.

Take, for example, the below chart from Ken Rubin and his article “What Happens to the Project Manager when Doing Agile Development with Scrum?”: While the PM role no longer exists in a traditional sense, you can see how the tasks and roles normally assigned to them still exist within the system, but are spread out throughout the team. As a result, the person who would normally act as the PM, can work very well as the Product Owner, the Scrum Master, or on the Development Team, depending on his or her background and specific skillset.

Agile Scrum & Project Manager | Ken Rubin
Ken Rubin “What Happens to the Project Manager when Doing Agile Development with Scrum?”

Author = Marcelo Garza | Sep 18, 2020

URL = https://www.praecipio.com/resources/blog/does-a-project-manager-fit-into-an-agile-world

Roles | Agile Project Manager VS Scrum Master

Why an Agile Project Manager is Not a Scrum Master
DZone | Mar 03, 2013

Interesting rant from the past (2013!). Excerpts:

(…) It’s not Scrum for these reasons:
The project manager and product owner start the release planning and ask the team if the release planning is ok. The team does not generate the initial draft of release planning itself. In Scrum, the team is supposed to generate all of the planning itself.

The checkin is different from the Scrum standup and the objectives of the checkin are different. I did suggest to the teams that if you want to create a cross-functional team where the functions are separated, if you ask people how they are working together, you might help them work together. Sometimes those questions work, and sometimes they don’t. It depends on the team and whether the people want to work together.

(…) The real difference is the difference between a Scrum Master and an Agile Project Manager. A Scrum Master is not a project manager. A scrum master does not manage risk by him or herself. A project manager will take on the risk management responsibility without asking the team.

A Scrum Master has only allegiance to the team. A project manager has responsibility to the team and to the organization. That means that the project manager might feel torn when the organization pressures the project manager to do something stupid.

(…) Agile makes it easy to protect the team. The question is this: does the Scrum Master have other responsibilities in addition to protecting the team or is the Scrum Master full time? An agile project manager tends to be full time on a geographically distributed team. Even on a geographically distributed team, a Scrum Master is not seen as a full time position. Bless their tiny little hearts, managers don’t seem to understand that transitioning to agile, especially for silo’d distributed teams with different cultural norms is non-trivial. They will make room for a project manager, but a Scrum Master? Oh no. Makes me nuts.

(…) I have nothing against Scrum Masters. Some of my good friends are CSTs (Certified Scrum Trainers). However, they are not all project managers, and have not been project managers, and have not studied the field of project management. Some have been. And, the real issue is this: In a two or three day workshop, they cannot convey to a person who may or may not have been a practicing project manager all of their project knowledge.

(…) I respect Ken and Jeff’s work too much to call it Scrum when it’s not.

Author = Johanna Rothman

URL = https://dzone.com/articles/why-agile-project-manager-not

Remote | Revisiting Agile Teams after an abrupt shift to Remote

Revisiting Agile Teams after an abrupt shift to Remote
McKinsey Insights | April 2020

Agile teams traditionally excel when their members are co-located. Here’s how to ensure they’re effective now that COVID-19 has forced them to work remotely.

Sustaining the people and culture of a remote agile team
– Revisit the norms and ground rules for interaction
– Cultivate bonding and morale
– Adapt coaching and development

Recalibrating remote agile processes
– Remote agile ceremonies come with unique challenges

Chart w/Scrum Ceremonies : Objectives, challenges for remote teams, solutions

– Establish a single source of truth
– Adjust to asynchronous collaboration
– Keep teams engaged during long ceremonies
– Adapting leadership approach
– Various approaches can help teams engage customers and external stakeholders

Chart w/Challenges ; Engaging purposefully, providing transparency, effective collaboration

Note: Article recommended by Bob Schatz, one my Scrum instructors.

Authors = Santiago Comella-Dorda, Lavkesh Garg, Suman Thareja, & Belkis Vasquez-McCall (McKinsey Insights, McKinsey & Company)

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/revisiting-agile-teams-after-an-abrupt-shift-to-remote

Scrum Framework: Illustration

Scrum Framework: Illustration
Agiletrick | Undated

Came across this cool illustration covering the Scrum Framework, Roles, Artifacts & Ceremonies.

The source is Agiletrick, an Indian Education company offering “Live Virtual Classes: Upskill . Get Trained and Get Certified. SAFe, Scrum, Kanban, DevOps, PMP®, Prince2®, Six Sigma, ITIL, BUSINESS ANALYSIS”

https://agiletrick.com/

Author = Agiletrick.com

https://agiletrick.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/scumdesign-latest-copy-723×1024.jpg

The Scrum Guide Reordered

The Scrum Guide Reordered is based on about 90 percent of the text of the 2017 Scrum Guide, extending its original structure by adding additional categories. For example, you will find all quotes that can be attributed to the role of the Scrum Master in one place. While the Scrum Guide is mainly focused on the three roles, five events, and three artifacts, I aggregated quotes on specific topics as well, for example, on self-organization, finance or technical debt.

The Scrum Guide–Reordered allows you to get a first understanding of Scrum-related questions quickly. For example, it is good at relating a specific topis — say “stakeholder” — with Scrum first principles such as Scrum Values, or empiricism.

Note: Need to sign up to obtain the Free PDF

Author = Stefan Wolpers

https://age-of-product.com/scrum-guide-reordered/

11 Scrum Metrics and Their Value to Scrum Teams

What are Scrum Metrics and KPIs?

Scrum metrics and KPIs are part of a broader family of agile KPIs. Agile Metris include lean metrics, which focus on the flow of value from an organization to its customers, and Kanban metrics, which focus on workflow and getting tasks done. While most agile metrics are applicable to scrum teams, scrum-specific metrics focus on predictable software delivery, making sure scrum teams deliver maximum value to customers with every iteration.

Scrum KPIs have three major goals:

  • To measure deliverables of the scrum team and understand how much value is being delivered to customers.
  • To measure effectiveness of the scrum team; its contribution to the business in terms of ROI, time to market, etc.
  • To measure the scrum team itself in order to gauge its health and catch problems like team turnover, attrition and dissatisfied developers.

Scrum Metrics—Measuring Deliverables

1. Sprint Goal Success
2. Escaped Defects and Defect Density
3. Team Velocity
4. Sprint Burndown

Scrum Metrics—Measuring Effectiveness

1. Time to Market
2. ROI
3. Capital Redeployment
4. Customer Satisfaction

Scrum Metrics—Monitoring the Scrum Team

1. Daily Scrum and Sprint Retrospective
2. Team Satisfaction
3. Team Member Turnover

Scrum Reporting—Which Metrics to Report to Stakeholders?

  • Sprint and release burndown—Gives stakeholders a view of your progress at a glance.
  • Sprint velocity—A historic review of how much value you have been delivering.
  • Scope change—The number of stories added to the project during the release, which is often a cause of delays (many agile tools can show this automatically).
  • Team capacity—How many developers are on the team full time? Has work capacity been affected by vacations or sick leave? Developers pulled off to side projects?
  • Escaped defects—provides a picture of how your software is faring in production.

The Missing Scrum Metric—Software Quality

Author = Sealights

https://www.sealights.io/software-development-metrics/11-scrum-metrics-and-their-value-to-scrum-teams/