Oksana and I (do we ever do anything alone?) are in Boston for Scrum training with Ken Schwaber this week. The class is interesting; I know a lot about scrum and have been practicing (or trying to practice) it since 2003.
One thing that I kept reflecting on during the class, is the true value of the product owner.
Before Oxygen, I always lacked the single wringable neck. I met with stakeholders, had iterations, backlogs, daily meetings -- everything, but the true product owner. Most times, I would have buy in from users and developers to participate in meetings and monthly reviews, but I never had what I have at Oxygen and it was a flawed way of working.
There is a conflict of interest between the product owner and a developer. Yes, you share a goal, however, its the developers job to expose risk and estimate effort and the product owners job to evaluate the information to make decisions that will decide the fate of the project.
It wasn't until training today and working with people that didn't have the luxury of the product owner that I remembered the pain lacking one. I've been trying to write about this and I have no words...
Luckily, Ken did a few weeks ago, this is what I want to say. I really loved reading it when Ken wrote it; today I appreciated how lucky I am (once again).