When agile fails: SCRUM master and product owner – confirm blog

This weblog submit is a part of the When agile fails sequence. This time I’d prefer to share my experiences of how groups find yourself with a SCRUM slave reasonably than SCRUM grasp and an unqualified product proprietor.

SCRUM slave

I believe the SCRUM grasp (brief SM) has one of many hardest function in a SCRUM workforce. I’ve lots of respect for the challenges of an SM, which contain:

  • Coaching the product proprietor and stakeholders
  • Removing obstructions which could happen throughout a dash
  • Protecting the workforce from exterior influences, similar to politics

A SCRUM grasp must have a robust character, should grasp enterprise politics and have a eager agile mindset. Because we wish to keep away from hierarchy in any means, the SCRUM grasp is horizontal function and is working intently along with all workforce members. Thus, the acceptance of this particular person within the workforce is inevitable. The SCRUM grasp wants to concentrate on all the problems the workforce is coping with. She/he wants to guard the workforce, and help them in fixing the problems.

I skilled SCRUM masters who knew the foundations, however had been lacking the appropriate mindset. In concept they knew how SCRUM works, however they’d neither the expertise nor the mindset to help their workforce. I’ve additionally seen means too many passive and disengaged SCRUM masters, who had no concept what their workforce was coping with. However, the alternative excessive doesn’t assist both. Dictating and forcing the workforce into one thing is just damaging the workforce morale.

In the top, the SCRUM grasp should discover the candy spots with regard of dealing with politics, communication expertise and fixing issues. This isn’t a straightforward job, and very often underestimated.

The SCRUM grasp is a troublesome function! A eager agile mindset, in addition to the aptitude of supporting and defending the workforce are key components for this function. Look for a robust character if you need a SCRUM grasp reasonably than a SCRUM slave.

Unqualified product proprietor

Developing and sustaining a product generally is a challanging process. In SCRUM all these challenges will probably be cut up and saved in a backlog. However, somebody must be in control of managing the backlog, and that somebody is the product proprietor (brief PO). It might sound easy, however managing the backlog requires a particular buyer mindset. Have a have a look at SCRUM.org to see what managing a backlog means.

To handle the backlog and to drive the product, the product proprietor must have a product imaginative and prescient, robust area experience and understanding of buyer & enterprise wants. The latter requires a definite buyer mindset. I prefer to see the product supervisor as a sort of gatekeeper for all sort of consumer requests. She/he stands between the event workforce and finish customers. Thus, the product proprietor additionally should deal with all consumer requests and do lots of expectation administration. It’s essential that the workforce respects the product proprietor, her/his determination and the backlog. Only the product proprietor can drive the workforce to work on a particular subject – nobody else!

Unfortunately, I skilled a number of flaws in SCRUM groups, simply because they elected the incorrect particular person for the function as product proprietor. The most typical one is the absence of area experience. A product proprietor with out area experience isn’t able to managing the backlog correctly. The second most drawback I skilled, is lacking expectation administration on either side – the event workforce and finish customers. Without speaking clear expectations to builders and finish customers, agile tasks quickly change into chaotic. Last however not least, I’ve seen groups sharing the product proprietor function in a collective – which clearly doesn’t work – by no means! The product proprietor may characterize the needs of a committee, however it’s at all times a single one who’s answerable for her/his choices.

The product proprietor manages the backlog & stands between the event workforce and finish customers. It’s the gatekeeper for consumer requests. Domain experience and expectation administration is crucial for the function as product supervisor. 

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