VK Newsletter Issue #3

🎯 What does a Product Owner do all day?

You might think that the job of a PO is to please the internal stakeholders and be responsible for the team’s performance. I mean, presenting excellent charts to the management is nice, but that’s not what the job is about.

Consider that your team is doing 100 Story points every sprint – the goal of a PO is not to increase that to 140 delivered SPs but to maximize the product value delivered in those 100 points.

It’s not about maximizing the “work” e.g. pushing developers to do overtime and deliver more, resulting in burnout and dissatisfaction. It’s not even a PO’s job to measure the team’s performance. A good rule of thumb is – a developer should be planned to work at 75% of his capacity – as there’s always stuff that fills in that 25%, and even if not, working 100% all the time is exhausting.

The POs job is about maximizing the “value” e.g. focusing on the stories with the highest work to value ratios that can fit into those 100 Story points. If you can make a product 7% better each sprint and keep the team engaged and happy to deliver the next 100 points, you’ve succeeded in your job.

The product owner also shouldn’t be focused on pleasing the internal stakeholders. The value a product creates is ultimately determined by its users, not by your marketing department who wants X feature or your Sales department that wants Y feature.

It would probably be a disaster if you, as a PO, said yes to all of their ideas — you’d end up with a product that implements the stakeholders’ requirements rather than effectively addressing customer needs. Just say no.

🚀 Maximize the value, not the amount of work.

🥹 Focus on the customers first and the internal stakeholders second.

⛔ Say no easily.

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