Value Teams: The Next Evolution of Product Owners
When people learn about agile they usually learn about Scrum (since it is the most popular flavor of agile). While Scrum is beneficial, it does not have answers to all the challenges of software development. One of the common challenges teams face is that of having an effective Product Owner. From experience, it is not about who is fulfilling the role of the Product owner in your organization but about the definition of the role itself. We have played with many different variations of the PO role, till we ended up with the concept and structure of the Value Team. To keep it simple, the Value Team is responsible for making sure the product is (1) Feasible, (2) Valuable, (3) Useable. After using Value Teams in many corporations (the session will have many real-life examples of this) they seems to be a practical solution to many problems about how agile can work in complex environments where there is no ONE product owner, but rather multiple organizations and people that have a say in what needs to get build and how. This session will present the idea of Value teams and answer questions on how to create them, how they operate, who is in charge, and why they are so critical to the success of the agile delivery team.
Outline/Structure of the Workshop
The session will be divided mainly into 2 parts:
- In the first part
- We will present the role of the product owner, define it briefly and then present multiple scenarios that challenge the effectiveness of that role.
- Then we will move on to present the idea behind of value teams and present their structure and how they work day-to-day.
- Before ending the first part, we will present multiple scenarios on how the value team is utilized and how tweaks and alterations can be done without loosing the essence of the value team.
- The key in the first part is to ground the whole discussion around the Agile concept of "facilitating collaboration" and showing how the value team facilitates better collaboration than the product owner role.
- The second part is making sure people actually absorb the learning.
- So in the second part we will divide people into groups and have them model how they would structure their value teams and delivery teams.
- Then they will present their structures to each other and evaluate if there are more efficient structures to better facilitate collaboration.
- The second part is also helping people apply the new concepts to their real situations and building in them the ability to tweak the concept for their specific environments.
- Utilizing the knowledge they learning in part 1 and the practice and feedback they got in part 2, we end the session by engaging the audience in a list of the potential benefits, challenges and pitfalls of applying the Value Teams in their environment.
- Learn some of the shortcomings of the PO role.
- Understand the purpose of a Value Team and who should be on it.
- Explore multiple ways of structuring a Value Team and learn that there is no ONE right way.
- Recognize situations when the use of a Value Team may be more appropriate than a PO
Agile Coaches, Business People, Product Owners