Thursday, February 01, 2018

The Five relationships for the Product Owner - LeSS

Recently I spoke at the LeSS meet up in Melbourne about the importance and the rationale for the Product Owners(POs) to maintain 5 key relationships.
I was happy with the turnout and the quality of questions that came up during the session. I used the following graphics exploring the the 5 relationships.
Most people already know that PO is accountable for the ROI and the importance of, maintaining the relationship between the stakeholders, customers, and the team. But the importance of managing the relationship between the customers and the team is highlighted in LeSS.
LeSS highlights the difference between prioritization and clarification. One of the LeSS rules is, PO prioritizes the requirements, but clarification is done as much as possible directly between the customers/users and the teams. 
Following graphics represents the above rule:
It is important to remember a few points about the clarifications vs. prioritisation perspective:
  • PO is not absolving the complete responsibilities of clarification. Depending on what adds the most value to the teams, PO makes the call whether to get the customers involved or to answer himself/herself with preference to the former.
  • PO facilitates the conversation to ensure that teams and customers are thinking in the right direction as per the organizational/customer priorities and ROI. 
  • My experience has been that customer involvement would be more during the initial days of the product development as compared to later stages assuming teams have gained maturity. Of course, its based on the context. Having customers/users working directly with the team is always valuable. 

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