Where Are You on Your Product Owner Journey?

March 27, 2019

You cannot do agile. You have to be agile.

As a Product Owner, I think we ignore that a PO is more than a user story writer. Based on my extensive experience, I have developed the Product Owner Self-Assessment (checklist). It is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive. The following checklist highlights various tasks, duties, and priorities expected of a thorough, effective Product Owner. You cannot do Agile. You have to BE Agile.” -Anu M. Smalley, CST

What You Should Be vs. What You Should Do

When it comes to the four core competencies of a Certified Scrum Product Owner, there is always room for improvement. As a Product Owner, one should strive to be available, empowered, knowledgeable, and accountable each day. Using the checklist as a starting point, identify if you are being an innovative Product Owner. Are you a storyteller? Are you the bridge between business and information technology? Are you helping your team understand your customer? Find yourself making assumptions? Ask yourself: how do I not make assumptions about what my customers want? Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach Anu Smalley suggests coming up with a hypothesis and experimenting to prove or to disprove.
Every day, Product Owners should take steps to practice Servant Leadership. According to Smalley, it does not matter how effective your team is, you’re going to fail without fully embracing Servant Leadership. Placing your focus on developing your Team is crucial to performing as an outstanding Product Owner. Read our past blog about Servant Leadership.


Product Owner, Product Strategy, Then Backlog Management

The key is to go the extra mile. Make a daily commitment to push yourself to go above and beyond for your Team, Stakeholders, and organization. Use the Product Owner checklist to address how to help yourself, help others. Not enough time? Juggling too many products? More often than not, we focus on product ownership and forget all the other things a Product Owner should be doingAs the liaison between the Team and Stakeholders, knowing the needs, wants, and desires for the Product is paramount. Consider how much time you set aside to properly understand how to engage Stakeholders. As a Certified Scrum Product Owner, one must reflect on the quality of their Stakeholder Management performance. If you would like to deep dive into the role of the Product Owner and how to identify and work with stakeholders, facilitate product discovery, test assumptions, and make sure the team builds the right thing in the right order, visit our Advanced Certified Product Owner class page.
At The Braintrust Consulting Group, we are dedicated to meeting you where you are. Whether you are a rookie or seasoned Agile professional, we can help you grow. For more information on our public and private on-site services, contact us for a free consultation.


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