Book Notes: Agile Product Management with Scrum - Roman Pichler

William Meller - Agile Product Management with Scrum - Roman Pichler
Agile Product Management with Scrum book uses real-world examples to demonstrate how product owners can create successful products with Scrum.


Title: Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love
Author: Roman Pichler
Themes: Agile, Career, Cases, Technology, Management, Business
Year: 2010
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
ISBN: 0321684133, 9780321684134
Pages: 160

In Agile Product Management with Scrum, leading Scrum consultant Roman Pichler uses real-world examples to demonstrate how product owners can create successful products with Scrum. 

"... A good product owner’s intensity of focus and responsibility for success are clearly illustrated in this book but rarely seen in product companies or on IT teams. We need a compelling picture of a great product owner along with the specifics of how to execute the role, and Roman Pichler has provided an outstanding guide..." - Jeff Sutherland

He describes a broad range of agile product management practices, including making agile product discovery work, taking advantage of emergent requirements, creating the minimal marketable product, leveraging early customer feedback, and working closely with the development team.

William Meller - Agile Product Management with Scrum - Roman Pichler

Benefitting from Pichler’s extensive experience, you’ll learn how Scrum product ownership differs from traditional product management and how to avoid and overcome the common challenges that Scrum product owners face.

"... Being the product owner is no solo act. The product owner is part of the Scrum team and closely collaborates with its other members. While the ScrumMaster and team support the product owner by jointly grooming the product backlog, the product owner is responsible for making sure that the necessary work is carried out..."

"... The product owner must be an effective communicator and negotiator. The individual communicates with and aligns different parties, including customers, users, development and engineering, marketing, sales, service, operations, and management. The product owner is the voice of the customer, communicating customer needs and requirements and bridging the gap between “the suits” and “the
techies.” Sometimes this means saying no and other times negotiating a compromise..."

"... The product owner must have enough authority and the right level of management sponsorship to lead the development effort and to align stakeholders..."

"...Prioritization directs the team’s work by focusing the team on the most important items. It also freezes the backlog contents progressively. As mentioned before, items are detailed according to their priority..."

"... Estimating product backlog items allows us to understand their rough size and the likely effort necessary to provide them. That’s helpful for two reasons: It facilitates prioritization, and it allows us to
track and forecast the project’s progress..."

This book is an indispensable resource for anyone who works as a product owner or expects to do so, as well as executives and coaches interested in establishing agile product management. Roman Pichler did a great job describing many relationships, and of course, focused on the many relationships that the Product Owner has.

1 - Understanding the Product Owner's Role
   The Product Owner Role
   Desirable Characteristics of a Product Owner
   Visionary and Doer
   Leader and Team Player
   Communicator and Negotiator
   Empowered and Committed
   Available and Qualified
   Working with the Team
   Collaborating with the Scrum Master
   Working with Customers, Users, and Other Stakeholders
   Scaling the Product Owner Role
   The Chief Product Owner
   Product Owner Hierarchies
   Choosing the Right Product Owners 
   Common Mistakes
   The Underpowered Product Owner
   The Overworked Product Owner
   The Partial Product Owner
   The Distant Product Owner
   The Proxy Product Owner
   The Product Owner Committee

2 - Envisioning the Product
   The Product Vision
   Desirable Qualities of the Vision
   Shared and Unifying
   Broad and Engaging
   Short and Sweet
   The Minimal Marketable Product
   Ockham’s Razor
   Less Is More
   Simple User Interfaces
   Customer Needs and Product Attributes
   The Birth of the Vision
   Using Pet Projects
   Using Scrum
   Techniques for Creating the Vision
   Prototypes and Mock-ups
   Personas and Scenarios
   Vision-Box and Trade Journal Review
   Kano Model
   Visioning and the Product Road Map
   Minimal Products and Product Variants
   Common Mistakes
   No Vision
   Prophecy Vision
   Analysis Paralysis
   We Know Best What Is Good for Our Customers
   Big Is Beautiful

3 - Working with the Product Backlog
   The DEEP Qualities of the Product Backlog
   Detailed Appropriately
   Grooming the Product Backlog
   Discovering and Describing Items 
   Discovering Items
   Describing Items
   Structuring the Backlog
   Prioritizing the Product Backlog
   Knowledge, Uncertainty, and Risk
   Getting Ready for Sprint Planning
   Choosing a Sprint Goal
   Preparing Just Enough Items Just in Time
   Decomposing Items
   Ensuring Clarity, Testability, and Feasibility
   Sizing Items
   Story Points
   Planning Poker
   Dealing with Nonfunctional Requirements
   Describing Nonfunctional Requirements
   Managing Nonfunctional Requirements
   Scaling the Product Backlog
   Use One Product Backlog
   Extend the Grooming Horizon
   Provide Separate Backlog Views
   Common Mistakes
   Disguised Requirements Specification
   Wish List for Santa
   Requirements Push
   Grooming Neglect
   Competing Backlogs

4 - Planning the Release
   Time, Cost, and Functionality
   Quality Is Frozen
   Early and Frequent Releases
   Quarterly Cycles
   The Release Burndown
   The Release Burndown Chart
   The Release Burndown Bar
   The Release Plan
   Forecasting Velocity
   Creating the Release Plan
   Release Planning on Large Projects
   Common Baseline for Estimates
   Look-Ahead Planning
   Common Mistakes
   No Release Burndown or Plan
   Product Owner in the Passenger Seat
   Big-Bang Release
   Quality Compromises

5 - Collaborating in the Sprint Meetings
   Sprint Planning
   Definition of Done
   Daily Scrum
   Sprint Backlog and Sprint Burndown
   Sprint Review
   Sprint Retrospective
   Sprint Meetings on Large Projects
   Joint Sprint Planning
   Scrum of Scrums
   Joint Sprint Review
   Joint Sprint Retrospective
   Common Mistakes
   The Bungee Product Owner
   The Passive Product Owner
   Unsustainable Pace
   Smoke and Mirrors
   Reporting Up the Sprint Burndown

6 - Transitioning into the Product Owner Role
   Becoming a Great Product Owner
   Know Yourself
   Develop and Grow
   Get a Coach
   Ensure That You Have Sponsorship from the Right Level
   You’re Not Done Yet
   Developing Great Product Owners
   Recognize the Importance of the Role
   Select the Right Product Owners
   Empower and Support the Product Owners
   Sustain the Application of the Product Owner Role

Roman Pichler is a product management expert specializing in digital products. He has more than 15 years of experience in teaching product managers and product owners, advising product leaders, and helping companies build successful product management organizations. 

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