Agile Mentors Podcast

Agile Mentors Podcast

Practical advice for making agile work in the real world

The Agile Mentors podcast is for agilists of all levels. Whether you’re new to agile and Scrum or have years of experience, listen in to find answers to your questions and new ways to succeed with agile.

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#3: What Makes a Great Product Owner? With Lance Dacy

June 08, 2022     47 minutes

Join Brian Milner and guest co-host Lance Dacy to look at the key capabilities of the product owner, mistakes to avoid, and getting maximum business value from the resources available. 

In this episode, Brian Milner and guest co-host Lance Dacy take a detailed look at the role of the product owner. 

They discuss a common source of confusion about what a product owner is, or does: people try to boil down the role to its tactical processes—such as writing user stories. The product owner may be accountable for these processes, but providing direction for what the team is trying to accomplish is their forte. 

Product owners need to be great communicators and collaborators, with passion for solving problems with their product. Brian and Lance share their experiences of what makes a great product owner, the importance of protecting a team’s capacity, and why saying no is often essential to protecting the vision.

Listen now to discover: 

04:10 - What’s the difference between a product owner and a product manager? 

07:25 - Henrick Kniberg’s criteria for successful product owners 

08:57 - Why Scrum Masters focus on the how and product owners focus on the why

09:05 - What does ‘being passionate’ mean to a product owner? 

12:48 - The mistake of trying to be too productive as a product owner 

19:46 - Can you combine other roles with that of the product owner? 

25:55 - What should you find out about a company before accepting a job offer as a product owner? 

34:49 - Why one of the most important things you can do is act as a steward of the team’s capacity


Listen next time when we’ll be discussing… 

A special bonus episode with details about Brian’s talks at the upcoming Scrum Gathering on June 6-8


References and resources mentioned in the show

Agile Product Ownership in a Nutshell - Henrick Kniberg


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This episode’s presenters are: 

Brian Milner is SVP of coaching and training at Mountain Goat Software. He’s passionate about making a difference in people’s day-to-day work, influenced by his own experience of transitioning to Scrum and seeing improvements in work/life balance, honesty, respect, and the quality of work. 

Lance is a Certified Scrum Trainer®, Certified Scrum Professional®, Certified ScrumMaster®, and Certified Scrum Product Owner®. Lance brings a great personality and servant heart to his workshops. He loves seeing people walk away with tangible and practical things they can do with their teams straight away.

Show edited by Rhett Gill.