What would Game of Thrones Characters say if they were a Product Owner?

What if the characters from Game of Thrones occurred to be Product Owners? How would their personas come to reside in Agile groups? Let’s see how a few of our favorite characters as Agile Product Owners.

Arya Stark – Stick unhealthy concepts with the sharp finish

This is a PO tackle Arya’s assertion “Stick em’ with the sharp finish” referring to her excessive prowess and data on how one can wield her sword ‘needle’.

The Product Owner rule right here is to cease beginning work if it doesn’t hit the mark from a analytics and validated learnings perspective. We’ve all seen the HIPPO (HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion) impact in motion – work that we all know shouldn’t go forward that appears to be fast-tracked. The greatest Product Owners are ones which might be unafraid to terminate work when it’s a unhealthy thought, figuring out the dangers that it might must their job however holding steadfast regardless.

Ygritte – You  know nothing with out validating your hypotheses

Whilst Jon Snow arguably knew nothing in response to Ygritte, so too do groups and Product Owners in the event that they blindly go constructing capabilities with out validating problem-market and problem-solution match assumptions.

Lean Startup gave us an enormous shift within the mindset of software program improvement when it started to re-wire our considering to cease contemplating all the things a requirement and to begin to check and study on our riskiest assumptions.

Great Product Owners not solely check and study on their riskiest assumptions round problem-market and problem-solution match, however they’re critically conscious of the several types of cognitive bias and actively wrestle in opposition to their better-self in an effort to be sure that the absolute best answer goes to market.

Jon Snow – Benefits are coming

It may as properly be winter with how a lot cash is spent constructing work that doesn’t end result within the anticipated advantages. Although most individuals have heard the of the 2002 Standish Chaos report that cites 64% of options are hardly ever or by no means used, this has but to be thought of statistically legitimate. Again the largest problem to how merchandise ship advantages has come from the Lean Startup neighborhood by specializing in a lifecycle that deeply embeds into its core a means of Build-Measure-Learn with vital choice factors on the “Learn” stage to pivot (altering downside objectives), persevere (persevering with on similar path, altering answer choices) or perish (cease the work altogether).

There continues to be an excessive amount of “throw it over the wall and it’s completed” mentality within the business. Leading organisations are deeply embedding this studying cycle into their improvement approaches and transferring away from heavy batch to extra circulation primarily based lifecycles. Whilst the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is constant to develop momentum, it’s misplaced on many who implement it, that utilized poorly, it creates huge three month batching.

Think about what this implies from a check and study perspective – you launch one thing to market and start to collect analytics and information. At the identical time you begin your subsequent Program Increment assembly and create a agency dedication for the following three months of labor. Let’s say that after three weeks you get sufficient information to validate what you simply launched and with nice concern it simply isn’t ensuing within the end result anticipated. You have an assumption about what it’s good to pivot, however it’s going to require two weeks of labor. What do you do?

You can wait to the following Program Increment, which is one other two and a half months away, after which ship a change in one other three months (simply over a 5 month pivot – yikes!). You may pull one thing out of the Program Increment, thus breaking the expectation that was set, additional delaying the scoped advantages. If you have been good you’d have in-built some slack into the Program Increment to permit for pivots on launched work.

In the sector, I’ve hardly ever seen both of those choices happen. Leaders don’t typically permit any slack in a Program Increment and as a substitute are likely to drive for the entire increment to be stuffed up, after which sadly what occurs subsequent is that they push to have the groups ship each, breaking their sustainability with a promise of “we gained’t let this occur once more”, which it inevitably all the time does.

Whilst you would argue that these leaders haven’t been coached successfully and are misunderstanding the core Agile manifesto worth round adaptation for Agile (responding to alter over following a plan), it doesn’t deminish the truth that SAFe because it tends to be carried out ends in huge batching which in flip reduces the time to advantages and pivoting for advantages optimisation.

Great Product Owners know this and shall be empowered to push again in opposition to the organisation’s leaders to make sure advantages optimisation. To do that, once more the Product Owner will probably want nice braveness to fend their choice in opposition to leaders throughout the organisation.

Littlefinger – Backlogs aren’t a pit, backlogs are a ladder

For some time I thought of utilizing the Petyr Baelish quote “Fight each battle in all places, all the time, in your thoughts. Everyone is your enemy, everyone seems to be your pal. Every doable collection of occasions is occurring abruptly” twisting it right into a quote about stakeholders, prospects and predictability of wants, however in the long run I used the extra identified quote, “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who attempt to climb it fail and by no means get to attempt once more. The fall breaks them. And some, are given an opportunity to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is actual. The climb is all there’s.”

Backlogs are actual. The climbing by them to ship is (virtually) all there’s. Importantly a backlog shouldn’t be a pit. Product Owners are likely to acknowledge all requests from stakeholders and politely put them into the backlog. These get prioritised down on the backside of the backlog and languish for all of eternity. Great Product Owners will have a look at not simply the essential and prioritised work within the backlog as a part of backlog refinement, however can even actively take away aged gadgets inside it, work that may by no means get completed as a result of it’s deemed as too low in precedence or worth.

Product Owners can even recognize the place they’re within the Explore-Expand-Extract stage of their product improvement and their backlog’s content material shall be reflective of the stage.

Tyrion – A Lannister all the time prioritises by worth

Need I say extra? The reply ought to be sure. A very good Product Owner will prioritise by worth, an important product proprietor will prioritise by worth with an understanding of price, alignment to technique, market and aggressive traits. Value can take many varieties – buyer worth, enterprise worth, danger discount or assembly business obligations. Balancing worth with price of delay and job measurement will imply Product Owners can realise advantages sooner. A weighted shortest job first algorithm with relative estimation will be utilised to match work within the backlog in an effort to be sure that the best invaluable work is prioritised larger.

Daenerys – I’m not simply going to inform the story, I’m going to reside the story

Daenerys Targaryen would be the breaker of chains with a purpose to interrupt the wheel, however as a Product Owner she epitomises the function of a narrative teller. Product Owners are captivated with the issue they’re attempting to resolve. They need to get to the guts of it and do that greatest by participating instantly with prospects and deeply figuring out the info, insights and ache factors about each prospects and the enterprise. Ideally the group could be attending the client testing, but when they don’t then the Product Owner actually must be the voice for the client, to place assist the group to place themselves into the client’s footwear and deeply perceive their wants.

This is the place Lean UX and Design Thinking intersect with Agile in an effort to construct the best factor.

More Product Owners in Game of Thrones?

Do you will have a superb quote conversion from a Game of Thrones character to a Product Owner? If so put up within the feedback beneath.

Categories: Agile, Agile Back to Basics, Agile Elsewhere, LeadershipTags: Agile, Design Thinking, Game of Thrones, lean startup, Lean UX, Product Management, Product Owner

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