What does a Product Owner do and who should fulfil this role?

What does a Product Owner do? Is it a full time job? Are they the customer? Are they the owner of the product? It’s been over 15 years since the Agile Manifesto was signed and a new era heralded with a focus on working products over (but not to the exclusion of) documentation. Schwaber and…

Relative Estimating and Sizing Stories

How should we size Stories? Not by hours but through looking at new work relative to the size we gave to old work.

Better together: Agile + Lean UX

I’ve always liked Dave Landis’s diagram on how design thinking, Lean UX and agile go together. Something, however, always felt a little off that these elements still seemed separate over being integrated. It took me til I went to Jeff Patton’s Passionate Product Owner course (CSPO) that I began to know what I didn’t know…

PRINCE2 processes vs Agile development frameworks

UPDATED: 27/05/2017 PRINCE2 has been the gold standard for project management certification for over a decade. It’s commonly a prerequisite for project managers and is recognised as being essential for keeping projects “in control” particularly in the public sector in Australia where Zen Ex Machina does a lot of its work. I think it is with…

Specialist Team Members within a Scrum Team – Business Analyst

Whilst individuals  within a Scrum development team may have specialist skills and areas of focus, accountability to deliver the Sprint work belongs to the Development team as a whole. In Scrum, there is no business analyst role; instead the business analyst works as part of the development team and utilises their specialist skills to help…

Who *should* be your Product Owner?

Who should be your (Scrum) Product Owner? I’ve had a number of these conversations recently with small, boutique software development agencies and even design companies with UX expertise. Typically, the conversation goes something like this: The business stakeholder or client is the owner of the product, so they should be the Product Owner We’ve got…

Principles of Effective Project Governance

Regardless of whether you’re running an agile or waterfall project, effective project governance and stakeholder management underpins project success and results in efficient and timely decision making. Recently I was working on a project where there were times when decision making was stalled, while the Team navigated through a complex governance matrix, designed by the PMO,…

Demystifying Agile: Where did my role go?

Traditional projects have roles we’re all familiar with: project managers, business analysts, developers and testers. All of these roles align to specific phases of the project. Sticking with this paradigm brings certainty to the minds of those involved and gives the project a context where everyone knows what is expected of them. But Scrum doesn’t…