Product Backlog and the tea leaves effect (a message to Product Owners)

Product Backlog is a strategic instrument of high value; for stakeholders, product management, the organization, the Development Team(s), and the Product Owner. When employed well, Product Backlog reflects the vision, ambitions, roadmap, needs and wants for a product or a service, all in one place. Imagine how your competitors would love to have access to it!

Product Backlog has the potential, as a single artefact, to replace a multitude of other predictive plans and traditional documents. In Scrum, Product Backlog is all the plan you need. For Product Backlog to enhance simplicity and transparency, Product Owners maintain Product Backlog continuously. The Product Owner, actually owning the product, orders and manages it to reflect the actual needs, wants and ambitions.

Product Owners likely apply multiple hands-on strategies to keep Product Backlog tidy and accurate. It helps for many Product Owners to realize how the tea leaves on a Product Backlog impact transparency.

Having explained Product Backlog and the Tea Leaves Effect in the past, I have now summarized it in a short movie. It takes less than 2 minutes of your time. Enjoy!

Product Owner, actually owns the product

The description of a Product Owner’s work reads as no existing job summary. “Product Owner” is not just a new name for the old roles and titles originating in the industrial beliefs that dominated businesses and society far too long.

Our dependence on software and technology keeps accelerating. We live and work not only in a globalized but also in a digitized age where technology, knowledge and the availability of information prevail more than ever, through a variety of technology products more than ever. Product Owner is a new, modern role, that fits that new world.

Product Owner, within an organization, actually owns the product, is a product-CEO. Product Owner is the many-faceted servant-leader in an eco-system revolving around the product, an eco-system that stretches beyond the borders of the organisation that creates the product. Product Owner is a strategic role, that is still ignored too much.

Promoting Professional Scrum (in Ukraine)

In March 2017 I enjoyed being in Kyiv (Ukraine) to open the first Scrum Day Ukraine, introducing “re-vers-ify“.

I am continuing to support my local friends of Scrum, Slava Moskalenko and Bogdan Misyura (Brain Rain UA) in promoting Professional Scrum in their region. On 27-28 April we organise a Professional Scrum Product Owner class in Kyiv. Join if you want to explore the diverse aspects of product ownership in Scrum!

With ‘Professional Scrum‘ we promote the use of Scrum beyond the mere following of the formal ceremonies (‘mechanical Scrum’), but employing Scrum from an understanding of the underlying values and principles. In our Professional Scrum workshops we follow the difficult path of helping people explore how to build on the empiricism of Scrum, the intelligence of people and the Scrum Values, to tackle difficult and complex challenges. The easy path would be to be instructors, treat attendants as mindless robots and give people easy black/white solutions.