Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2008-08-15

Getting started as a product owner

When getting started as a product owner, you first need the product vision. If you don't know what the vision is, how can you calculate the business value?

So good, so far. Then it's time to get the first product backlog started. You don't have to change tools, so don't be afraid to try something and later on change to something else. But don't choose something that does not fit you. As I've mentioned before, Know-b/pesters were on and on about postits and I tried it, hated it and dropped it. My advice is get a list of what your needs for a product backlog is and choose the best tool which meets the needs. Today, I'm using TFS because it meets the following
  • able to visualise for stakeholders (excel integration, web access, etc),
  • can specify my own columns (getting back to that in a later post),
  • tool that developers are already working with
  • tool which visualises how the sprint is progressing ( Scrum dashboard)
  • able to look back on history (see how a previous sprint went)
  • able to create delivery notes (through excel integration, mail merge in word and Sharepoint)
What I don't get is a treeview of stories (Epic-->Theme-->Story - get back to those concepts later) but the next version of TFS should include that. I've also seen on Codeplex some solutions for that. It is not that important right now and with the Excel integration and Pivots in Excel, I've met those needs as well.

So, just decide on some form for your product backlog, and then you can get started. But hey, what does the product backlog contain? well, I'll get back to that later. Right now, I'll need to prepare to conquer Södermalm. The crusade commences tomorrow evening.

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