The Startup
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The Startup

7 Tips for Product Owners From 7 Years of Experience

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1. Control the backlog

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Don’t open up your development ticket system to become an idea trashcan if you are not fast enough to clean it up.

  • Bugs that are feature requests
  • Duplicates
  • Stories that contradict each other
  • A team and a product owner that have only scattered knowledge about the backlog items
  • A backlog spilling over
  • Too many tickets that do not fulfill the defined requirements on the definition of ready

2. Establish a traceable development process

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  • that the SCRUM team knows about the issues in the backlog
  • that other stakeholders are sufficiently well informed what happened to their inquiries
  • It is known (or easy to find out) to anyone involved what is inside your product by collecting a few Confluence pages
  • Anyone who has access to the wiki knows the implementation status of the requirements
  • You will pass quality assessments with ease if you do document your product development process. It also helps you to keep an overview that you will lose when working solely with a ticket system.

Don’t use the agile manifesto as excuse for not writing any documentation and for accepting insufficient processes.

3. Embrace responsibility

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Don’t promote diffusion of responsibility, but trust and liability.

4. Stay curious about “the how”

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The product owner’s understanding for how a solution is crafted may be crucial for preventing refactoring and architectural adjustment efforts.

5. Adapt

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Adjust to the circumstances and stay eager to improve.

6. Read

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Do not reinvent the wheel and learn from written down experience.

7. Work with DoD and DoR

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Comply with the basic SCRUM rules.



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Maciej D. Korzec

Data Science Enthusiast, Product Management Devotee and Mathematician at Heart