Product Ownership!

Value TeamOne of the interesting challenges for many agile teams is the myth of the “Super Product Manager (SPM)”…especially in Government work. The ability to artfully balance the line between the needs of the technical teams, interfacing with sponsors, representing filed user needs and clearly/concisely communicating needs across the boundaries is a tall order indeed. One interesting solution that has been presented is the Value Team. In many Government supporting software operations, some “roles” often feel left out of the software development team (aka delivery team). We know that IA, SME, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Pubs, and UEA all play critical functions in the delivery of our services. However, Agile frameworks are often silent on such issues and rarely have a good answer for the problem. The Value Team crowd sources the refinement of a clear program vision and develops the value definition to be delivered to the customer. The Value Team shares this responsibility beyond a single “super” PO by providing the horsepower needed to truly understand and communicate the vision and requirements/user stories to the team. After all, the PO can’t possibly be everywhere at once; can they? What say you? Does the idea of a value team make sense? Can we utilize concepts like this to expand a sense of ownership by improving the vision and requirements clarity?