Being a product person involves a wide range of activities. One activity that probably does not receive as much attention as it should is supporting your team as they build, test and deploy your product.
Even many product owners, whose role is specifically intended to support the delivery team sometimes miss this critical activity.
If you think that your responsibilities as a product owner end with a properly described user story, you are sadly mistaken.
You want to make sure that your backlog items are clearly described and that you’ve built a shared understanding with your team regarding what those backlog items mean. But you’re not done with that backlog item.
No matter how buttoned up you think the information around a given backlog item is, your team will uncover something as they build and test the increment of the solution that supports that backlog item. You’ll need to answer questions or discuss a scenario that your team uncovers.
And that’s ok. It happens.
Learning occurs throughout the entire product development cycle. You’re fine as long as you reflect on the scenarios you missed and revise your approach to backlog refinement for the next go around.
Even if you do that, there will still be questions.
The key is to be responsive and helpful when those questions come up.
Here are some resources that explain further what you can do while your team is in delivery mode.
How agile business analysts support delivery
No matter how good you are at describing backlog items, you need to work with their rest of your team as they deliver the solution. This post, the seventh in a series on the agile business analyst, explores what that looks like.
What does a product owner do during delivery?
During delivery product owners keep their team focused on outcome, maintain shared understanding, and make last minute decisions in a timely manner.
How to maintain shared understanding
I examine a recent Slack conversation to look at some ways you can help your team maintain that shared understanding you worked so hard to build.
The product owner’s guide to working with developers
A successful team is like a well-oiled machine. To help product people understand how to get all the parts meshing smoothly, Nick Butler dragged some real-life developers away from their keyboards and asked them, “what works for you when it comes to working with product people?” They told him that product people should:
- Know their product
- Be responsive
- Be decisive
How do product owners and teams collaborate
Ben Linders takes a look at how product owners and teams work together based on excerpts from Henrik Kniberg’s Agile Product Ownership in a nutshell video and other sources.
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Kent J. McDonald
Founder | KBP.Media