I was recently asked if engineers or other members of the scrum team would get value from a Certified Scrum Product Owner workshop.
Our Certified Scrum Product Owner workshops are designed to build knowledge and skill in three main areas:
- How scrum works and how to use it effectively
- How to build shared understanding of the requirements between stakeholders and the development team so that the team builds the right thing
- How to identify and focus the team’s efforts on the most valuable deliverables
These are topics that every member of a high-performing team should be versed in. Having engineers participate in product owner training helps them understand the context within which they do their engineering work, and helps them understand how to interact better with product owners around topics such as the business value of paying down technical dept.
For products that are extremely technical, engineers usually work closely with the product owner in order to define and refine the user stories. If the engineers lack story writing skills, then the resulting ‘stories’ are often little more than a restating of the architecture and technical design. The problem with this is that many of these ‘technical stories’ need to be implemented before there is anything that is meaningful to the stakeholders. Once those engineers have been exposed to the story writing and splitting techniques in our workshop, they are better able to define/refine stories in such a way that they stay pertinent to stakeholders at all times.
I’ll also point out that all scrum masters should take the product owner training, as scrum masters are the scrum experts that provide guidance to the scrum team and the greater organization. Frequently, the scrum master will be called upon to coach the product owners in the various skills needed to be effective in product owner role.