10 March 2017

Better Product Ownership

In many organizations I see the Product Owner's duties relegated to super-clerk. A person who takes pre-cooked ideas and translates them into story cards. Their job becomes a drudgery of translate and publish. I find this to be most dissatisfying. Rather, a PO should collaborate with stakeholders to find a mechanism to solve a problem. The PO is the creative engine that defines the solution. That is exciting. That would get you out of bed in the morning for sure. 

The process of converting that vision into a specification of work is an impediment to the product owners role. There is an excess of mechanical work. Create Card -> Validate that it meets the INVEST Criteria -> Map that story to a release plan -> Explain the vision to the developers -> Verify the result -> Demonstrate the Result -> Wait for deployment. That is a long arduous road to travel. It requires patience. It requires meticulous planning and attention to detail. And frankly I find much of it boring. 

I think a better organization of work would be to have the Product Owner focus on Creating Cards and Defining Acceptance Criteria and Accepting Completed Work. All the mechanics should be delegated to someone else. The PO needs a creative environment free from the chores of manipulating card wall. 

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