We like to think of Product Owners as a pivotal piece to the whole Agile process. We actually wrote about Product Owners before as a key role in Agile before, but sometimes it’s nice to see others writing about the exact same thing.
Agile cannot be successful without an engaged and available Product Owner.
Steve Swedler agrees with this point.
“Agile is incomplete without product management… all participants must have two basic things; a clearly defined common goal, and a set of guiding principals by which they can evaluate all decisions.” – Steve Swedler
We agree fully. Steve makes some pretty tough statements in his article on Agile Product Management:
“If you are not having a kickoff meeting for new projects [with Product Owners], you should stop reading this now and seriously reconsider your career choice.”
Steve’s 4 questions Product Management needs in order to give direction are as follows:
- Why are we building this, and what problem are we solving?
- Who is it for: Primary Audience? Secondary?
- What is important to that audience?
- What are the constraints?
These are great guiding questions when a Product Owner begins thinking about setting the pace for a particular project or product. Ensure that your team has an engaged and available Product Owner and Agile can and should come easily.