Product Owner Support – Accelerate Backlog Delivery | Pentalog

Product Owner Support

Accelerate backlog delivery with an extra pair of "product" hands.

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Product Owner Support for Complex Projects

Sometimes the Product Owner needs some assistance, particularly when it comes to building large, complex products or when multiple teams are collaborating. While the Product Owner always remains accountable, sometimes it makes sense to delegate discrete tasks. With Product Owner Support, "proxy POs" work under the direction of the Product Owner to help refine and elaborate backlog items and support the development team during sprint cycles.

Product Owner Support

  1. Product Owner Support

    While the Product Owner role remains singular in agile methodology, the notion of providing support through dedicated "proxy" roles has gained traction for challenging backlogs or where a remote team may have limited interaction with the PO. This concept has been acknowledged by industry associations such as Scrum.org, which notes that POs may choose to "delegate responsibility to others".

    In Pentalog we provide Product Owner Support by assigning a local "proxy" PO to assist the PO with specific tasks. Generally, this means embracing the product vision and roadmap defined by the PO and working on specific tasks to define and elaborate backlog items in line with this vision and in support of the roadmap. With time and proper context, clients ask often our "proxy" POs to assume the full list of PO responsibilities.

  2. Accelerated Backlog Refinement

    With Product Owner Support, the PO delegates responsibility for refining and elaborating discrete backlog items to a "proxy" PO typically located alongside a remote development team. Under these circumstances, the backlog is managed in a manner consistent with a customary PO model, but with an extra pair of "product owner hands" to speed backlog delivery.

    • The product backlog represents an ordered list of items (features, changes and bugs) needed to achieve the product goal and characterizes the “single source of work” to be completed by the team.
    • The Product Owner collaborates with stakeholders to elicit, refine and prioritize backlog items, an emergent process which continues along the entire product life cycle. Products no longer require a backlog only when they are retired.
    • The backlog should be refined “just enough” such that items at the top – those to be worked in the next 2-3 sprints – are fully elaborated, while items below may be less refined and may require significant work to be made “ready.”