Level of Control

In an article on pragmaticmarketing.com, Stacey Weber discusses at what level of control the product owner in Scrum is supposed to operate. She points out that the product owner needs to interact with the team at a problem statement level, not on the level of detailed specifications. I agree. If the product owner feels the need to control the team’s work at a very granular level, this is a bad smell. An efficient Scrum team can take fairly high-level requirements from the product owner and act on them. Such a team does not need to be spoon fed detailed specs and screen shots, because it already has all the skills it needs to take a requirement and run with it. If great user experience is a key target, a user experience person is right there in the team, committing to the sprint goal. The product owner gets to do what he or she is good at – identify and work towards delivering to market needs. The team gets leeway and is able to find the best possible solution to a stated problem.

More generally: in an efficient organization, there is rarely a need to micro manage.

Author: Tobias Fors

I'm a software management consultant. I help other people succeed with software development. In my work, I help teams and organizations be more effective and ship software.

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