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8 Tips for Collaborating with the Development Team

Manage the Product, not the Team Focus on your job as the product manager or product owner, and manage the product, not the team. Provide guidance on the product, including its market, value proposition, business goals, and key features. But let the ScrumMaster or coach tackle people, process, and organisational issues; let the development team figure out what needs to be done ...

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You’re doing it wrong: Definition of Done

In this series, we’re taking a look at what we do in agile, those pesky practices, and why we’re doing them. The purpose is the key here, and if you’re not getting the benefit, you might be doing it wrong, so try something else. So, let me ask you a question: Are you done, done-done, or done-done-done? What does “done”mean anyway? To answer ...

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Product Owners and Learning, Part 5

When I think of POs and the team, I think of learning in several loops: The PO learns when the team finishes small features or creates a prototype so the PO can see what the team is thinking/delivering. The team learns more about its process and what the PO wants. If the Product Manager sees the demo, the Product Manager ...

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Servants, not leaders, not managers

Sharp eyed readers of my management mini-series will have noticed I referred to managers doing administration several times, Peter Hilton mailed me to ask me more about this. Let me image such a manager, let me imagine the worst possible scenario… This manager spends a lot of time involved in admin. Finance forms a lot of this, juggling a budget, ...

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Product Owners and Learning, Part 4

Part 1 was about how the PO needs to see the big picture and develop the ranked backlog. Part 2 was about the learning that arises from small stories. Part 3 was about ranking. In this part, I’ll discuss the product owner value team and how to make time to do “everything,” and especially how to change stories. Let’s imagine you started ...

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Scaling the Product Owner Role

Summary In theory, the product owner is one person. But in practice, managing a larger, complex product is usually a shared effort. But how can product ownership be split without resulting in decisions by committee and creating a weak or even inconsistent product? In this post, I discuss different techniques to help you scale the product owner role successfully and ...

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You’re doing it wrong: Iteration planning, part 2

In this series, we’re taking a look at how we do things, and why. More importantly, why we are supposed to do things, and what’s the expected outcome. If you don’t get those outcomes, maybe you should try doing something else, or re-calibrate your expectations. Now, I know that based on the title, you’re expecting some #NoEstimates stuff, but not ...

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Product Owners and Learning, Part 3

Part 1 was about how the PO needs to see the big picture and develop the ranked backlog. Part 2 was about the learning that arises from small stories. This part is about ranking. If you specify deliverables in your big picture and small picture roadmaps, you have already done a gross form of ranking. You have already made the big ...

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Product Owners and Learning, Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about the way POs think about the big picture and the ranked backlog. The way to get from the big picture to the ranked backlog is via deliverables in the form of small (user) stories. See the wikipedia page about user stories. Notice that they are a promise for a conversation. I talked about feature sets ...

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