Category: Product Owner

Stop Wasting $$$ Building So Much Crap!

| By Reese Schmit in Agile, Lean, Product Owner | 0 Comments


So many teams have a list of projects laid out on a roadmap sometimes months or years out, without a clear idea of how success is measured. Are they being measured based on the number of projects completed? Getting them done “on time”? High quality? Team utilization? Are any of these things helping meet the company objectives?

When did we stop experimenting and start believing we were always right?

Why are we spending so much money building things that may or may not have any real value? How are we even determining what we build?

We have spent years calling ourselves Lean or Agile, as we optimize the delivery of the highest priority items in our backlogs. That is making the big assumption that we’re building the right things. What we are probably doing, though, is building the wrong things, faster.

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Technical Skills And The Product Owner

| By Resalin Rago in Product Owner, Scrum | 0 Comments



Product Owners are in high demand. Searching on Indeed for “Product Owner” pulled up 103 new jobs posted this month. While, its existence is relatively new compared to a Product Manager, it’s gaining attention as Agile and Scrum begin to overtake traditional methods of building software and managing creating projects.

The Product Owner (PO) is responsible for creating the product vision and guiding the team as they work to make the vision a reality. They are the bridge between stakeholders, team, and the end users. It’s a job that requires a number of different hard and soft skills, from knowledge of Agile and Scrum to a Mama bear instinct to protect the product.

One of the most frequently asked questions in our CSPO classes is whether technical knowledge is required in a Product Owner role. The short answer is no, but the long answer is that technical skills are helpful, but not in the way you might think.

When you’re looking for a new PO, you want someone steeped in product development experience (clearly). The list below consists of hard and soft skills required in the PO role in addition to the years of experience needed. Because this post pertains to product ownership, we prioritized it in order of least to most important. You’re welcome.

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How To Find Your Next Product Owner

| By David Gardner in Agile, Product Owner | 0 Comments

PO stork

Image courtesy of William Gill


A hurdle for companies who are transitioning to Agile is how to staff the product owner role. Should they look externally or is it OK to look within as they already have roles that are similar to the Product Owner (PO) position. Common questions I’ll see pop up when they are considering who would make good candidates for the new Scrum role  include:

  • Do Product Managers make good Product Owners?
  • How about Business Analysts, do they make good Product Owners?
  • Which should we look to – Product Managers or Business Analysts?

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5 Common Story Point Estimation Mistakes

| By Doc List in Product Owner, Scrum | 1 Comment

campfire scrum stories
Campfire Scrum Stories: A Product Owner gathers the Scrum Team and describes the story


Remember when you were a kid being told to eat your vegetables? Even though you know they’re good for you, you just don’t “wanna” sometimes. Story point estimation can be similar. It can feel like an extra meeting in your already busy schedule. IN spite of that, it’s well worth it.

Story point estimation happens during backlog grooming or during sprint planning. When complete, it provides a relative assessment (estimate) of how complex each of the stories will be to get it to “done”. It also tells the Product Owner how many and which stories can fit in the sprint, which might affect the Sprint Backlog. Product Owners can also use this as a tool in discussing the work with stakeholders. Benefits of story point estimation include estimations with a longer shelf-life, time saving, and better metrics.  

It’s important to be aware that there are common mistakes to avoid to fully realize these benefits.

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Diagnosing the wellness of your product backlog

| By Resalin Rago in Agile, Product Development, Product Owner | 1 Comment

What do cars, human bodies, and backlogs have in common? All three need regular check-ups to stay healthy and useful. A product backlog is a key Scrum artifact. It holds all of the potential work the team/organization has not yet done that might be part of the product. One of the responsibilities of the product owner is to keep the backlog ready and healthy for the team.

A healthy backlog has 2 sprints-worth of sprintable stories. This rule describes the readiness of each story and the amount available for the team to work on.

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4 Characteristics Of A Personable And Useful Customer/User Persona

| By Resalin Rago in Product Development, Product Owner | 0 Comments

male silhouette

Imagine you were tasked with building a transportation vehicle for two individuals. What would be your first step? If you dove head first into your list of features, you made the wrong move.

What if the person needed to travel from Austin, Texas to Oxford, England? Or what if he only needed to go across town? Knowing who this machine is for and what they’re trying to accomplish is the difference between building an airplane or assembling a bicycle. The first step to building a great product is to understand your users, and creating product personas is a key element.

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5 Factors To Help Prioritize Your Scrum Product Backlog

| By Resalin Rago in Product Owner | 0 Comments

It’s been said that your product backlog is the ultimate to-do list. However, have you ever tried to complete a to-do list without prioritizing each task first? Or going to the grocery store without grouping items? You couldn’t pay me to go to a grocery store with a chaotic list…especially on a Sunday. Madhouse.

crowded supermarket

Image courtesy of

Smart and experienced product owners know that a product backlog without prioritization can lead to bad decision-making, wasted time, and can even breed distrust among the team. Don’t let this happen to you. Take heed of these five factors to help prioritize your product backlog. Because this is a post on prioritization, the factors are listed in priority order.

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Getting to Done

| By David Hawks in Agile, Business Analysts, Coaching, Lean, Process, Product Development, Product Owner, Quality, Scrum | 0 Comments

Part 5 of 6 in the “Double the Value in Half the Time” series based on David Hawks’ presentation from Keep Austin Agile 2015. Stay tuned for subsequent posts…

The fifth problem… we’re not getting things done. This is the Scrumbut part of Scrum. “Yeah, we do Scrum but we carry over stuff every sprint. The work just doesn’t fit in two weeks.” We have to figure how to break work down so it can be finished in a sprint. If not, we’re not getting to done and we’re not getting that potentially shippable product increment.

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