This is a continuation of Bad Product Ownership anti-patterns that I’ve seen all too often. And that I would encourage you and your organizations to avoid.
Without more context setting, let’s get onto the patterns –
You might be a BAD Product Owner IF you…
Too often revert to explore how and how long, over focusing on the what
It’s probably human nature.
When I ask a contractor to come over to my home to estimate fixing a problem. I usually focus on how long it will take them and how they will approach the repair.
Mike Cottmeyer has been one of my longer-term colleagues in the agile community. He’s built a nice coaching business in the Atlanta area and has been contributing his ideas for quite some time. He’s someone that, when he writes something, I usually read it.
I don’t always agree with Mike. But that’s ok. He always makes me think (or rethink) differently and that’s quite valuable to me. I like to be challenged.
He recently wrote a blog post entitled: Kanban Isn’t The Answer To Bad Product Ownership. In it, he made the case the title implies. And he made it quite convincingly. But the post also made me consider a couple of things:
How fundamentally important the Product Owner role is. Specifically, in Scrum, but generally in agile teams. I’ve seen the difference that an excellent Product Owner can make to a team. And conversely, the damage “bad ones” can do.
And lament the number of bad product owners (organizational, group, and individuals) that I’ve seen in my own coaching travels.
So, in this piece, I want to explore some of the You might be a bad product owner, IF… patterns that I’ve seen. In the hopes that we might be able to avoid some of them.
In his latest newsletter, Len Lagestee wrote about Even Happier Product Owners. The piece shared 9 conditions of happiness for the Product Owner. Here’s a link to the blog post.
And here’s the list:
- They are immersed with their customers;
- They have the time and space to be visionary and creative;
- They have true ownership over their product;
- They are receiving meaningful feedback about the performance of their products;
- They have a positive working relationship with their Scrum Master;
- They have an even better relationship with technical leads and designers;
- They are proud of what the team is delivering;
- They have embraced their constraints;
- And, they are keeping themselves healthy.
I really like Len’s list as a baseline for the happiness and performance of the Product Owner role. I’d like to compare the list against my 4-Quadrants of the Product Owner role model.