In the world of software development, especially when the scrum framework is used, the role of the Product Owner (PO) is crucial in ensuring that the final product meets the customer’s needs and requirements.
The Scrum framework defines the Product Owner as an individual responsible for defining and prioritising the product backlog, as well as representing the customer to the development team.
However, in Mònade the figure of the Product Owner takes a unique form that differs from the traditional Scrum framework. In this post we explore the role of the Product Owner in Mònade and compare it with the Scrum framework, highlighting the main differences.
Mònade, Digital Studio
First, let us specify what kind of company Mònade is and how it operates. Mònade is a company of developers and designers offering expertise for projects with a profound innovative character.
Full stack developers, UX/UI experts, product owners, agile delivery managers: teams of professionals from different worlds make up dedicated teams for each individual project.
So for each project there are different heads working in synergy to deliver the most effective digital solution. This means that Mònade is a development studio that takes on external projects and products, which it does not own. The characterisation of the Product owner (PO) is highly dependent on this.
The Figure of the Product Owner in Mònade
Since Mònade is a digital studio, the one-man PO is not technically the product owner, since the product belongs to a client who is external. Instead, the PO acts as a facilitator who replaces the customer and enables the management of product ownership inside and outside the organisation.
We refine the context by relating the PO to the two main dimensions in which it operates:
Towards the customer – the true owner of the product: In this capacity, the PO works to prioritise customer requirements, focusing on solving problems rather than simply implementing functionality.
Towards the team – the facilitator: The PO in Mònade does not have an official Scrum Master role, but helps team members understand the priorities of the problems to be solved and establish boundaries within which to work. These boundaries may concern budget, time, functionality, technical aspects and architecture.
Differences between the Product Owner in Mònade and the Scrum framework
For convenience, we summarise the points in which the PO in Mònade differs from the ‘literature’ in 10 points.
- Product choices: In Mònade, product choices are made by the end customer, not the product owner. This contrasts with the Scrum framework, where the PO has the final say on product decisions.
- Decision-making process: Therefore, the PO in Mònade supports and facilitates the decision-making process, but does not have the final say. This also differs from the Scrum framework, where the PO is the sole decision maker.
- Agile mentality: The PO of Mònade guides the team in adopting an Agile mindset and facilitates the process based on best practices, whereas the PO of Scrum focuses mainly on managing the product backlog.
- Conflict resolution: In Mònade, the PO helps resolve critical issues within the team, particularly during the blocking phase, a responsibility not explicitly defined in the Scrum framework.
- Dependency management: Mònade’s PO manages dependencies between different aspects of the product, a responsibility not emphasised in the traditional role of the Scrum PO.
- Priorities: The PO works to prioritise different products and customers in agreement with other stakeholders inside and outside the company, whereas the Scrum PO focuses on a single product backlog.
- Responsibility: Ownership at Mònade is shared among the team, with each member contributing to the management and development, technical or design, of the product. Clear boundaries and expectations are set regarding the commitment and sustainability of the product.
- Promoter of change: The PO Mònade acts as a promoter of Agile change within the organisation.
- Sales Participation: In some cases, the PO Mònade assumes the role of salesperson, maintaining contact with the customer and participating in the sales phase.
- Estimation and order: The PO Mònade participates in the estimation and order definition during the sales phase.
Is the Mònade PO a PO?
The role of the Product Owner in Mònade represents a unique and customised approach to product ownership that differs from the traditional Scrum framework.
So much so that one might ask whether it is correct to use this definition. Acting both as a facilitator and an enabler, the PO in Mònade could be considered more of an ‘Agile Manager’, a professional who fosters a collaborative and customer-centric environment, focusing on problem solving and prioritisation while promoting Agile principles to all stakeholders involved.
This approach results in a more versatile and adaptable role than the classic PO, aiming to meet specific project and customer needs and working towards getting a product to market.