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13 March 2017

What are the characteristics of a good Product Owner?

We have a very interesting meetup in Melbourne this week about Product Ownership. 


Details about the session are below.

What are the characteristics of a good Product Owner? 

Background 

 I recently reviewed the Product Owner description in the Scrum Guide. It struck me as outdated enough to write up a blog post with a view of updating it to meet the expectations of almost two decades of sharing and learning new agile techniques together.

 I also took a tour through about 15 books on Product Management. It seems pretty apparent that the Scrum Guide is limited in scope and that often more needs to be addressed by the Product owner than just managing a backlog and being available for questions.  But has the PM industry missed something fundamentally valuable from the Agile milieu?

Additionally, last week I was part of a local online discussion about whether scrummasters/ agile coaches and Product owners should live inside the same human being on a team. The voices of experience shared a resounding NO! The story in that discussion was about avoiding the conflict of interest and potential for abuse of power by blending these two roles.

So we have a proposition for you to discuss. 

What do you think about the PO description in the Scrum Guide? How useful is it for you in your role today? And what is it about Agile that Product Management doesn't seem to grok? What can you do to improve the way you and your team operate?

 Expected outcomes 

The people who come tonight will get to engage in a discussion about the role, and will help each other challenge assumptions and discuss ways to better execute on the role.

You'll leave the night smarter, more engaged and better looking.

Format for the night 

Find each other. 
You people all look conspicuously like IT workers. It shouldn't be be hard. Look at the photos of the attendees to find each others. Keep an eye out for Shruti, Gretchen and Ferenc. Also look for Mazdak, Glenn and Priya. You know each other already.

Have fun. 

  • One of the meetup regulars will set the scene and get people organised. 
  • The participants will break into small groups and have robust conversations 
  • The small groups will share back to the larger groups. 


Agile team and players are expected to bring their best selves to the game. Turn up, actively contribute and help others by sharing your own experiences.

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