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10 Things the Product Owner Can Do To Drive the Team Crazy

10 Things the Product Owner Can Do To Drive the Team Crazy
By Marc Löffler

It’s about time to give the Product Owner a chance to fight back. With the help of Heiko Weltin I created a list as a base for the revenge. I hope you’ll like it:

  1. Create your product backlog without any prioritization. In the end you need all of the features before you can bring the product to the market.
  2. Only create the headline of your user stories and don’t add any additional content, even if the team asks. You can’t prepare everything for the team.

  3. Only use two types of priorities: “Urgent” and “Can be done later”. Anything else would be a waste of time.

  4. Always promise release dates and scope to your customer without talking to your development team upfront. You are a skilled estimator.

  5. Always add one task to a user story that keeps the team from finishing it.

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Don’t be a Scrum Zombie

Don’t be a Scrum Zombie
By Marc Löffler

Every Scrum team knows the most famous 3 questions asked at the Daily Scrum:

  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Is anything in your way?

For some teams this meeting is just an annoying duty and because of that the questions are answered passionless. One thing that I observed in the last weeks and month is how the questions are weighted. The first question about the last working day is answered in every detail while the second question is answered quite short and if the third question is answered at all this is only done by stating that there are currently no problems. So the biggest part of the meeting is about talking of the past. The future and the impediments are just ignored. IMHO this is a big problem and should be avoided.

What did you do yesterday? Read the Complete Article

Watermelon Reporting in Project Management

Watermelon Reporting in Project Management
By Marc Löffler

From Wikipedia: The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green, yellow and sometimes white) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, red and sometimes green if not ripe).

For my metaphor, I’ll use the one with red flesh but orange and yellow would work too. I think most of us experienced the phenomenon when the project status is red but is getting greener and greener when climbing the management ladder. The project’s core is red but for the management it has a nice green paring, so it looks like a watermelon. This is why I call this phenomenon Watermelon Reporting. But why are we creating such reports and how can we avoid it?

Why?

The bearer of bad news already had a bad time in the ancient world. Read the Complete Article

5 Reasons Why a Product Owner Team Might Be a Good Idea

5 Reasons Why a Product Owner Team Might Be a Good Idea
By Marc Löffler

Last week, I have read an article that stated that the The product owner is a unicorn.

I kept thinking about this for a few days and came to the conclusion that in some environments a product owner team would be a better fit. But what could be a good reason for a product owner team?

  1. Responsibility

    One good reason might be a shared responsibility. In some companies it seems to be difficult to define the one and only PO with all needed responsibilities. Even worse, I saw product owners, whose decisions were overruled by their bosses and managers. This does not only have a demotivating effect on the PO, but also the development team becomes insecure when working with her. When you have a PO team, it is much more difficult to overrule them.

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