and Professional Scrum Product Owner 1 logos over a rainbow of coloured sticky notes

Reflecting on Professional Scrum Product Owner training

| Martin Jewiss

Sixty Second Summary

In August last year I was fortunate to attend Professional Scrum Product Owner training, delivered by David Spinks of Red Tangerine. The experience was valuable and inspiring, now, almost five months on is a great time to reflect on the experience.

Full Article - 3–5 Minute Read

Key Takeaways

Scrum is flexible

As a Kanban and Design Thinking practitioner, it is valuable to understand the Scrum framework. My prior perception, formed from online articles and social media opinion, was of a highly prescriptive, rigid and brittle methodology. I was surprised by the reality: a lightweight framework with some non-negotiable requirements and bags of flexibility.

In-person training adds value

I loved attending an in-person training course for the first time in two and a half years. Training with other people in the same room boosts energy levels, creates impromptu conversations, and unexpected learnings in a way that live online training cannot match.

Most Valuable Learnings

A focus on value

The Product Owner responsibility to maximise value delivered to the customer, the organisation and wider society aligns perfectly with Design Thinking. I learned different ways to combine techniques and exercises that I already use to discover, communicate, develop and validate value delivered to customers.

An effective risk management tool

Like Design Sprints, Scrum is an effective tool to manage risk. It does so by boxing time and resource investment into small, discrete increments (Sprints) and validating the value delivered to guide future direction (an empirical approach).

  • Business risk is managed by validating value delivered to customers.
  • Financial risk is managed by growing our understanding of finances, scope, and resources to learn if the product is economically viable.
  • Technical risk is managed by growing our understanding of the technical feasibility of building and maintaining the product.
  • Human risk - Scrum team accountabilities, with regular feedback loops and commitment to courage, openness and respect, help uncover approaches, tools and systems which align better with individual team members.

Interesting Perspectives

Empiricism is useful for complex challenges

An empiric approach (transparency, inspection, and adaptation) to complex challenges can be valuable. The point that value can only be assumed until it is validated through use by customers, particularly resonated with me.

Scrum, Design Thinking, and Kanban can be aligned

Scrum incorporates similar concepts to Design Thinking, articulated in a different way. Scrum will prove a useful addition to Design Thinking on future innovation projects, bringing flexible structure and communication channels to the wider business.

People are key

As I have seen so many times, key ingredients for impactful outcomes are effective communication, people engaged in their role, support for others in their roles, and a focus on customer needs.

Need help with a thorny problem?

Our remote facilitated applied design workshops will you answer your organisations biggest questions and problems. In 2 days to 2 weeks we can help you identify challenges, prototype and validate solutions. Get in touch for an obligation-free discussion.