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How to challenge your product owner

3dc8723d06d8e0cafbb1c78ea42dfe6a?s=47 Peter Hilton
September 10, 2019

How to challenge your product owner

As an agile software developer, you want to understand your product owner’s expertise, so you can work well together with mutual respect. This is harder than it should be, because everyone tends to assume that they know everything (that’s worth knowing), and that everyone else’s job is just some typing and a few meetings.

This presentation describes what happens when you don’t have a proper product owner, and introduces some challenging questions that product owners work on answering. In practice, the product owner role is often an impossible job, especially when it isn’t full-time, so you shouldn’t expect your product owner to be able to answer all of the questions straight away. You might enjoy working together on the challenge, though.

3dc8723d06d8e0cafbb1c78ea42dfe6a?s=128

Peter Hilton

September 10, 2019
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Transcript

  1. @PeterHilton http://hilton.org.uk/ How to challenge your product owner 10 things

    your PO should know that you don’t
  2. A software development photo story…

  3. HE’S GOING TO SAY EVERYTHING’S A ‘MUST HAVE’ ISN’T HE?

    PRODUCT BACKLOG PRIORITISATION…
  4. LOL ?! IT’S ALL GOT TO BE DONE THIS YEAR

    Photo - Sebastian Herrmann
  5. IT DEPENDS. WHAT COLOUR BLOCKCHAIN DO YOU WANT? OH, THIS

    SHOULD BE GOOD… Photo - Sebastian Herrmann
  6. HOW HARD WOULD IT BE TO ADD A POP-UP SURVEY

    WIZARD? Photo - Sebastian Herrmann LATER, DURING ESTIMATION…
  7. I’VE WORKED OUT EXACTLY HOW TO BUILD IT HAS HE

    STOPPED TALKING YET? Photo - Sebastian Herrmann
  8. … THEN DOUBLE THE ESTIMATED DAYS, AND CHANGE IT TO

    WEEKS Photo - Sebastian Herrmann MEANWHILE…
  9. JUST WORK FASTER! WE ESTIMATE 3 YEARS FOR ALL OF

    THE FEATURES Photo - Sebastian Herrmann
  10. WHY ARE THEY BUILDING THIS? Photo - Sebastian Herrmann LATER…

  11. IT’S SO HARD TO USE! Photo - Sebastian Herrmann

  12. USABILITY IS SO BAD THAT NO-ONE’S GOING TO USE IT

    SO WHAT? THE PROJECT WILL BE OVER BY THEN! Photo - Sebastian Herrmann
  13. WHY DOESN’T IT JUST WORK ON MOBILE? Photo - Sebastian

    Herrmann TESTING…
  14. I’LL TELL THEM WE NEED A FEW MORE MONTHS Photo

    - Sebastian Herrmann
  15. How many kinds of disfunction did you 
 spot on

    this team? !15 @PeterHilton •
  16. Asking better questions

  17. IS THE PRODUCT BACKLOG IN PRIORITY ORDER? YES, ALTHOUGH IT

    WILL CHANGE FOR THE LATER STUFF AS WE LEARN MORE Photo - You X Ventures PRODUCT BACKLOG…
  18. WHO IS THIS FOR? THIS SAVES ANNA THE ACCOUNTANT 1

    HOUR EACH DAY NOW I SEE THE BUSINESS VALUE
  19. WHAT IF WE DON’T SOLVE THIS PROBLEM? THE COST OF

    DELAY IS €50K PER MONTH
  20. HOW WILL WE KNOW IF THIS WORKS? THE PO SAID

    THAT THE KPI IS 20% FEWER SUPPORT REQUESTS FOR THIS USER FLOW MEANWHILE…
  21. … AND WE CAN MONITOR HOW MANY PEOPLE USE THIS

    OPTION
  22. CAN I JOIN NEXT WEEK’S CUSTOMER MEETING? YOU WENT THIS

    WEEK, SO I’LL TAKE ANOTHER DEVELOPER NEXT TIME LATER…
  23. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WE’RE TRYING TO SOLVE HERE? TAX COMPLIANCE

    Photo - You X Ventures SO WHAT’S THE PRODUCT VISION?
  24. THE VALUE PROPOSITION IS ‘COMPLIANCE BY DESIGN’ GOOD FOLLOW- UP

    QUESTION
  25. SO WHO CAN DEFINE THE PRODUCT IN ONE SENTENCE?

  26. HEY, THAT’S WHAT I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU TO

    DO!
  27. What the PO should know (and you don’t)

  28. Product definition 1. What’s the problem we’re trying to solve

    here? 2. Who is the product for? 3. How do you define this product in one sentence? 4. What’s the product vision? 5. What’s the product’s value proposition? !28 @PeterHilton •
  29. Product backlog 6. Is the product backlog in priority order?

    7. What is the business value? 8. Which customers/users/personas care about this? 9. What if we don’t build this? 10. What is the cost of delay? !29 @PeterHilton •
  30. Bonus questions 11. Can I join next week’s customer meeting?

    12. How will we know if anyone uses that? 13. How will we know if it works? 14. What is the balance between 
 strategic development and tactical enhancements? 15. What is the balance between 
 technical maintenance and product development? !30 @PeterHilton •
  31. These are all 
 hard questions. Product owner is a

    difficult role. !31 @PeterHilton •
  32. ranh / CC BY 2.0

  33. Neil Gaiman on product management ‘When people tell you somethings

    wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. ‘When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.’ !33 @PeterHilton •
  34. @PeterHilton http://hilton.org.uk/