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last update : 07/06/2013

Agile for Product Owners




Course Background 

Agile software development relies on collaboration, teamwork and active participation. Many business and IT professionals slip naturally into effective ways of working in agile teams, others find the transition less straightforward— especially business stakeholders used to a ‘stage-gate’ project governance approach, and IT professionals coming from a structured methods background. In this workshop we offer practical guidance for Product Owners, including those new to the role and those with previous experience in Product Management, Business Analysis, or Project Management who want to understand the slightly different mind-set and skills required to fulfil the Product Owner role.

Benefits of Attending 

The workshop is delivered in participative style with many short interactive exercises based on real-world scenarios. Agile evangelists sometimes get bogged down in theory, and tend to over-complicate; in this workshop, the emphasis is very much on ‘what works’.
The workshop is relevant to new Product Owners; to experienced project team members moving into the Product Owner role from a development or product management background; and to experienced product managers coming from a ‘structured methods’ background.
By the end of the workshop delegates will be able formulate their own answers to the following frequently-raised questions:
  • What type of project is Agile well suited to?
  • How do I prepare the Product Vision and Roadmap if we are ‘going agile’?
  • What is the role of a Product Owner on an agile project? Does it overlap with Developer? Tester? User? Marketing?
  • How is requirements gathering different? Do I still produce a ‘functional spec’? What about getting ‘sign off’?
  • How do we know when we are ‘finished’?
  • How can we estimate accurately when requirement are evolving?
  • What are the common issues and risks I will need to deal with?


What is Agile?

Evolution of Agile … Agile principles … Popular current agile methodologies … 

Waterfall vs. Agile – similarities and differences


Where does Agile work well?

Project type, size, criticality … Corporate culture and ethos … People considerations


The Agile Project Team

Typical Agile team structure ... User engagement ... The role of the Product Owner ... Business Analyst as ‘proxy’ user


Requirements gathering

Engaging customers ... Customer involvement

Approaches to development ... Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)

The Scrum Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog ... Prioritisation (MoSCoW vs. forced ranking)

Documenting requirements ... User Stories: Epics and Feature

Reviews and demonstrations...

Mini-waterfall vs. ‘true’ Agile (and everywhere in between) 

The use of Kanban boards and other Agile tools 



When, and what, to estimate

Estimating techniques … Velocity based planning


Transitioning to Agile

Preparing for change … The first Agile project … Common issues faced by the Product Owner — and how to overcome them


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