7 sins of the product owner

    Phase 2

    Just like in life.


    In the classical methodologies, the role of the owner of the product was not. For the first time the role of the owner of the product appeared in the Scrum framework. Prior to this, the nearest role was the role of the project manager in PMI PMBoK methodology. The role of the project manager contained a number of contradictions and conflicts of interest:

    1. The project manager was responsible for the team and for the relationship with the customer. Unfortunately, the interests of the customer are contrary to the interests of the team.
    2. The project manager was responsible only for the product creation stage. The project manager doesn’t care what happens next, the main thing is to finish the project in time with the necessary properties, quality and meet the budget.
    3. A project manager is not required to know how to sell and promote a product. Hence, there are so many failed on the market, but formally successful (completed on time and met budget) projects.

    Solving this problem, the creators of Scrum:

    1. They divided the role of the project manager into two: Scrum Master, who cares about the team, a sort of strict but loving nanny, and the owner of the product.
    2. They made it so that the responsibility of the product owner does not end at the completion of the development, but continues during the commercial exploitation period.
    3. We decided that the competence of the owner of the product includes: marketing, sales, knowledge of business and the subject area.

    Who is the product owner?

    The product owner is a universal soldier who understands software development; knows the development life cycle; represents how to promote and sell a product, understands the situation and trends of the target market; knows UI and UX; able to predict and measure key product metrics.

    The story of an ideal product owner could be:

    1. He worked in IT as a developer, designer or designer.
    2. Thanks to the communicative and leadership qualities, which is rare in IT, has grown to the project manager.
    3. I did not stop there and began to develop towards business, marketing, and sales.

    But this is ideal, but in practice: anyone who comes up with “great ideas” considers himself the owner of the product. Moreover, when these ideas do not shoot, you can shove the blame on the design, designers, marketing or sales.

    7 sins of the product owner

    1. It does not make measurable business hypotheses. That is, if we implement this feature, then we will get such a benefit: we will increase the conversion by n%, reduce the cost of the user by m rubles, and earn so much money. Moreover, it is necessary not only to name arbitrary values ​​of metrics, but also to justify these values.
    2. Does not explain to the team the purpose of the change. If the contractor does not understand or does not share the goals, then two problems arise: the contractor does not do what the owner of the product wanted; doing it badly and slowly. In addition, the team is the primary censor of the idea. You can’t prove to the team the value of an idea, think about whether there is a sense in the idea.
    3. Not involved in the implementation. If the owner of the product does not check the artifacts: user stories, prototypes, flowcharts, the result, then he receives not what he wanted.
    4. Does not participate in acceptance. The product owner must accept ready-made changes before testing specialists to make sure that they have done what they need and in the right quality.
    5. Does not check results. If you put forward a measurable business hypothesis, check whether it turned out to achieve predictable results or not. That is, verify the plan with the fact.
    6. Does not draw conclusions. After the introduction of changes, it is necessary not only to compare the plan with the fact, but also to understand the reason why they achieved or did not achieve these results. In the future, try to strengthen the positive results and to level the negative ones.
    7. Do not think about what will happen to the product in the future. Who and how will support, develop and sell the product.

    Perfect product owner

    Remove the “not” particle from the previous list and get the perfect product owner.


    1. The more you know about related areas, business, subject area, competitors, the easier it is to find a good idea.
    2. The more successful features you have made, the more respected you are with the team and the customer. At some point, authority will start working for you.
    3. Benefit all - to the customer successful features, team nishtyaki.

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