Pass the P0 role

Product Owner Role

The specific culture of this hack can be characterized as money driven, lacking respect for people, focusing on individual capacity utilization, high valuing of acquittal and favoring direct control over establishing a shared vision and working agreements. A Scrum Product Owner (1) is seen as the waiter receiving orders instead of a leader responsible for making the best out of the Scrum Team’s efforts and holding the purpose of the group.

The crack originates from trying to replace the direct control oriented leadership style by the distributed authority model of Scrum and resistance against the change. Stuck in the middle of the change the Product Owner is not given the authority to succeed with his job, yet he is kept responsible for the outcome by the Development Team and his Managers alike.

First part of the hack is to make the authority dilemma visible to everyone. A useful tool to do this is delegation poker to create an authority board clarifying the delegation level of the Product Owner’s key decision areas. The second, part is investigating peoples happiness at work, e.g. creating a happiness index from 1-5 by regularly doing a quick 5 finger voting. And third, voila, a Product Owner of the team chooses to pass (2) his Product Owner role during a management meeting as a piece of art: P0 (null=no happiness) written on an empty role of toilet paper making elegantly exploiting the tension with fun.

The result is a honest discussion what the conditions of the role of a Product Owner is: freedom, fun and playfulness to live the role fully.

(1) Product Owner is a role within the Scrum framework
(2) Pass is an element of the Core Protocols


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