The Product Owner Advocate – Part 2

 

In my last post, we introduced the Product Owner Advocate as a beneficial role on a project using scrum.  Especially if your product owner doesn’t have the time to commit to scrum. Here is how we defined the role briefly:

The product owner advocate is a role that allows a business analyst to provide the TIME necessary to support a scrum team, while keeping the AUTHORITY with the product owner. This BA represents the interests of the product owner to the scrum team and ‘advocates’ for the product. They are committed to the product and are invested in spending time with the product owner, to understand their priorities, desires, biases, etc., as well as the scrum team where they represent the product owner.

In today’s post let’s look at the first two in a series of responsibilities and see how the product owner advocate would work with the product owner and the scrum team.

  • Prioritizing and assigning business value to the backlog

  • Defining the backlog

  • Explaining the backlog to the scrum team for estimating

  • Providing clarification and detail during sprint planning and the sprint

  • Participating in sprint reviews

  • Participating in sprint retrospectives

  • Representing the product to the organization

Prioritizing and assigning business value to the backlog

The scrum team works from a product backlog that is prioritized by the product owner. The product owner would HAVE to do this task, but the ‘advocate’ would participate, learning the perspectives and goals of the product owner. This history and perspective can be valuable to the team as it is creating product from the backlog, because the ‘advocate’ can represent the business value and vision to the team helping them to create product that really matches the objectives and achieves the value.

Defining the backlog

Typically, the items at the top (highest priority) of the backlog have a lot of definition, but things with lower priorities would have less definition. The ‘advocate’ would work on behalf of the product owner to define large backlog items by decomposing them into smaller items and then creating the acceptance criteria for each. On a larger project with many product backlog items this could be a very time consuming task. The product owner is involved, but can provide direction and high level understanding to the advocate who can then do the work of decomposition.

In the next post we’ll look at:

  • Explaining the backlog to the scrum team for estimating

  • Providing clarification and detail during sprint planning and the sprint

  • One Response

    1. Kevin Rutkowski September 30, 2010

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