Agile Living

Follow These 6 Best Practices to Shine as a Product Owner

It is tough to be the product owner of a newly formed agile team. Especially, for organizations that have recently adopted the Agile methodology. In this article at Business 2 Community, Jonathan Fries talks about 6 best practices to shine as a product owner.

Tips for the Product Owner Role

Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland and Scrum, Inc. chief product owner J. J. Sutherland set expectations from the product owner role. You should divide your attention between talking to the team and clients. As for the rest of the time, you must create product backlogs to clarify customer requirements. Beyond all this, you need to arrange tasks as per requirements and priorities. Following are the best practices to help you shine as a product owner:

Conducting a Workshop for User Stories: A product owner collects user stories from various stakeholders to create a product backlog. Instead of running behind them, conduct a workshop where all stakeholders would write stories. One workshop per quarter is enough.

Refining the Backlog: New to the product owner role or unsure of the work being done before? Invite the entire team in a meeting room and go through the backlog list. Prioritize based on dependency and urgency. Perform one product backlog refinement with the team every sprint to get a polished backlog as the project progresses.

Attendance in Scrum Meetings: The product owner is the main anchor of a Scrum meeting. Regular participation in team meetings will reflect your dedication to the project and the gravity of your role. You can participate daily or regularly as per your available schedule.

Setting a Vision: Set expectations in the project kickoff meeting for the entire project. You can then divide the vision as per quarters that you want the team to achieve. Establish important milestones or challenges for the team to achieve each cycle.

Defining User Roles: Have clear user roles even if you have just joined the project. You can do it at the initial phase of the project or when a new role is added.

Following Up with Story Mapping: Perform story mapping after conducting a story writing workshop or product backlog refinement meeting. This will help you to set expectations regarding the minimum viable product (MVP), work prioritization, and working model. Doing all these together can be taxing but will prove valuable in the long run.

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