Practices of a Great Product Owner

We had the pleasure of hosting Bob Galen this week at DFW Scrum. His topic was centered around the practices of a great Product Owner. I tried to take some notes and so I am pasting those here in this blog. What people wanted most was a copy of Bob’s presentation as he didn’t really have enough time to run through every slide, but there was some valuable items in those. You can download Bob’s presentation for further viewing.

Notes (in raw form)

  • part product manager pragmatic 37 activities po covers 8-10
  • part project manager-release planning, cross-functional, external dependencies in larger-scale environments
  • part leader-partnered with the scrum master, influence and motivation capabilities, congruent leadership
  • part business analyst-creating user stories and other requirements artifacts; ui design often a stretch
  • ring the gong for each story point accepted (good idea someone had)
  • a good product owner should have a thorough understanding of the customer needs, an active stakeholder manager, and basic knowledge of how software is developed and deployed
  • a good product owner is part of the team and stands-up for the team with passion
  • how does risk surface in the backlog? variance, spikes, high story points, dependencies
  • granularity heuristic: use the 20/30/50 rule 20% proper stories ready to roll, 30% are epics-bigger stories that will eventually be split into smaller fine grained ones, the last 50% are themes, vague ideas about long term product direction and i never put much effort here because it’s almost wrong
  • the backlog should be the one place to get our work flow, grooming, should be the caring and growing of that backlog
  • good idea for grooming, spend 20% on what’s around the corner, 30% on what’s 3-4 sprints away, and 50% of what the future looking like (breaking those down)
  • grooming is about inspiring the work flow, having great conversations and people are engaged and thinking about the next sprint
  • a good backlog looks like a tapestry with common threads

levels of criteria

  • basic team work products-done’ness criteria
  • user story or theme level-acceptance tests
  • sprint or iteration level-done’ness criteria
  • release level-release criteria

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