Product ownership from a consulting perspective
How does a high-quality product backlog actually come into existence in corporate projects? For agile adepts sitting on the development side, the question is easy enough to answer – they will see this as the sole responsibility of the product manager, and from their perspective they are right. However, a value-driven, change-friendly backlog is the outcome of several factors related to corporate management culture, last not least the successful and content-rich communication of the business actors involved behind the scenes. This may be easy enough to arrange on a superficial level, especially in the early stages of the project. However, in an agile project, requirements elicitation is something that will keep occurring and reoccurring. The product manager must have the necessary tools and commitment from the keys stakeholders in order to successfully fulfill the role of a backlog guardian.
I would like to discuss this topic from the perspective of a consultant who has been external to several performing organizations, having this the opportunity to take a closer look at the business analysis processes involved, and often to suggest amendments. It turned out each time that ensuring solid business analysis foundations is one of the key success factors in a development project, and this also applies to projects which follow an agile life cycle, although the specific methods used may be different than in a predictive life cycle. This is what I would like to present and discuss using several case studies.