All of you who have heard me speak at conferences or been along to one my courses will have heard me talk about the importance of committed Product Ownership. Personally I am a fan of having a single responsible Product Owner who focusses on the features required and their relative priority. On larger projects, a team of Product Owner helpers (usually Business Analysts or business specialists) will take on some of the Product Owners work. Today was all about good Product Ownership.

One of our current iOs (iPad, more specifically) projects has had great Product Ownership from the client. For the first time we are running a project without an internal Product Owner. As you can imagine, our client in this case has a pretty mature and well-proven software development method.

In other Product Owner news, I chaired a Product workshop this afternoon with one of my favourite clients. The focus was on developing their next generation software (all will be revealed in a couple of months). We had great representation from the board of Directors and the development team. In this case, the Managing Director is taking the lead on the project and shaping a great vision for the product. The development team are making a contribution by helping out with some ideas for screen layouts. It’s a great example of to delegate Product Ownership work without delegating the Product Owner responsibility!

Product Workshops are a great way to discuss, plan and prioritise features that are a sprint or two into the future. It’s a great opportunity for the Product Owner to express their ideas in natural manner and get ideas and feedback from the team. It’s great for the team to have the opportunity to discuss features and ideas without being immediately pressured to quantify how much effort is required to deliver the feature. If the only time your team discusses features with the Product Owner is during estimating sessions, then maybe it’s time to start thinking about running some Product Workshops!

We have some Product Owner (and Scrum Master) coaching planned for the next couple of months for a couple of other clients, so stay tuned to find out how it goes.