Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2008-10-12

The failing product owner

As Henrik Kniberg at Crisp already stated: who cares if you fail using scrum as a methodology. Independant on which method you use: if you get the wrong stuff too late and at a too high cost, your project has failed. And I do believe the reasons for any software development project are roughly the same: independant on which method you use.

And at the very core is the order of the system. The one who can say if the following has failed: the stuff built, the time spent and the resources spent. If that person does not exist or no one feels really responsible for that role: there is a good chance the project fails.

I do not believe in mediums but I sometimes wished they existed. If they did, I would hire that person to a software development project so we could build the right stuff. But mediums and Santa Claus does not exist, and the persons responsible for software development project should realize this. Unfortunatly, there are too many people out there who wants power and a nice title, but does not take responsibility for placing the order and following up during delivery. Giving the right feedback right through the project.

Mike Cohn says it so well and simple: a single, wringable neck. You cannot blame someone else and you cannot delegate responsibility. You can give others oppertunity to have their saying but that does not lessen your responsibility. It should only increase your possibility to take responsibility.

I do not take pride in a title on a business card: I take pride in the work I do. And being a proud product owner is being a participant and a partner to the development team - independant on method used. If I cannot say if the right stuff is being built to the right cost and on time: I should start calling myself something else and let someone more suited take the job.

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