TL; DR: Three Wide-Spread Product Owner Failures
There are plenty of Product Owner failures. Given that Scrum is a framework with a precise and concise yet short “manual,” this effect should not surprise anyone.
Explore with me three widespread examples of how Product Owners fail their team in three short video clips, totaling 6 minutes and 9 seconds.
TL; DR: Product Discovery Anti-Patterns
Scrum has proven to be an effective product delivery framework for all sorts of products. However, Scrum is equally well suited to build the wrong product efficiently as its Achilles heel has always been the product discovery part. What product discovery part, you may think now. And this is precisely the point: The Product Owner miraculously identifies what is the best way to proceed as a Scrum Team by managing the Product Backlog. How that is supposed to happen is nowhere described in the Scrum Guide. Consequently, when everyone is for themselves, product discovery anti-patterns emerge.
From sunk costs, HIPPO-ism, my-budget-my-features to self-fulfilling prophecies — learn more about the numerous product discovery anti-patterns that can manifest themselves when you try to fill Scrum’s product discovery void.
TL; DR: How to Make Agile Work in Fast-Growing Startups
For years, I worked in several Berlin-based, fast-growing startups in my capacity as Scrum Master, agile coach, and Product Owner. These are my lessons learned on making ‘agile’ — including Scrum as a framework — work in a fast-growing startup. Also, let me introduce you to the anti-patterns agile startups shall avoid at all costs.
TL; DR: The Cargo Cult Agile Checklist for Download
Do you want to know the state of agility in your organization? Here we go: Download the checklist, distribute it generously among your colleagues, and run a quick poll. It will only take 5 minutes of their time–and then analyze their feedback. If the average number of checkboxes marked is higher than nine, then you are probably practicing cargo cult agile in one form or another.
If running the cargo cult agile survey is the ‘inspection,’ then consider adapting your approach to being agile by kicking-off a discussion among the stakeholders of your organization’s endeavor.
TL;DR: Why Agile Turns into Micromanagement
Agile turns into micromanagement as a result of the middle management’s resistance to change. Despite better knowledge, changing an organization into a learning one that embraces experimentation and failure is not in everybody’s best interest. Self-organizing, empowered teams often conflict with the middle management’s drive to execute personal agendas, self-preservation being one of them.
You guessed right: it is time for a rant and short “checklist” to get the discussion going in your organization.
It’s Product Roadmap Building Time Again!
The end of 2020 is nearing, and it’s product roadmap building time again—at least for those companies that are still dedicated to the old command-and-control model. In the next few weeks, executives and (key) stakeholders will come together and define new functionality that they believe will meet business demands in 2021.
While investing in product roadmaps can yield a reasonable return by creating a shared understanding between the “the business” and product teams, I also believe that product roadmaps need to be living artifacts requiring continuous attention by everyone involved. To make that process as worthwhile as possible, adhering to the following seven product roadmap first principles has proven beneficial in my experience.