Have you noticed the impact on decision-making when someone more senior in your organisation shares their opinion?
Meet the HiPPO: the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion.
Sometimes it’s subtle and unintended. Other times it’s more direct and intentional.
Either way, the HiPPO is a dangerous animal in software development. 
When the HiPPO is allowed to drive decision-making this has a number of negative side-effects.
Options are prematurely closed down.
Critical assumptions get hidden.
Information about value and urgency are buried.
Dates are often promised (prematurely).
Overall, the chances of delivering value is reduced and the risk of failure increases.
An untrained HiPPO is one of the most dangerous animals to let loose around Product Development.
Whilst the HiPPO may like to be in charge, they don’t really want to be responsible for developing products that nobody wants. So, how can we help the HiPPO to help themselves?
Come and hear more about why HiPPO driven decision-making is so dangerous and learn some simple techniques you can use to train your HiPPO.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

Talk

Learning Outcome

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand why the HiPPO is so dangerous in product development 
  • How we can minimise the HiPPO effect
  • Five tools to help you with training your HiPPO

Target Audience

product owners, scrum masters, product managers, team leaders, business analysts, anyone who is involved in product development

schedule Submitted 11 months ago

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comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Balaji Ganesh N
    By Balaji Ganesh N  ~  11 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Joshua,

    Can you please elaborate on what are items that you added / refined since the last presentation at ACE, Krakow.

    Are there any videos / examples of your presentations ?

    Are you planning to conduct some activities to demonstrate the 5 tools that help deal with the HIPPO.?

    Your abstract defined too many items that can be covered in a 45 minutes talk. Can you please refine this to the top 2-3 items tat you woud like to cover ?

    You may also want to add some details in the abstract on how to  "create a culture where dissent/assent is welcome" and a link to any of your presentations on this topic.

    Look forward to your response

    Regards,

    Balaji

    • Joshua Arnold
      By Joshua Arnold  ~  11 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Balaji, 

      We have added couple of new tactics that we have experimented instead of the previous ones. 

      I'd be happy to run this as a 90 minutes session and add a hands on exercise for one of the tactics. What would you recommend?

      I will refine the learning outcomes to cover only top 2-3 items. This is something we have been working on. 

      I have now added links to my previous presentations. 

      Let me know if you have any other questions. 

      Thanks

      Joshua

  • Vinod Kumaar R
    By Vinod Kumaar R  ~  11 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Joshua,

    Generally responsible decision makers are the ones who are in higher grades and most of the time the pay reflects the grade. Is the emphasis on dealing with people who like to make decisions but will not be held responsible?

    Regards,

    Vinod

    • Joshua Arnold
      By Joshua Arnold  ~  11 months ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Vinod,

      This is one of the key messages we convey. HIPPOs exist at all levels of organisations even at team level. The tactics we recommend work with senior stakeholders as well as team members. 

      Regards,

      Joshua


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