Work with a Remote Product Owner?

remote_product_owner

Nowadays, every company is trying to reduce their budget so if they have clients abroad they hire a Product Owner there. Furthermore, the Scrum team is local but testing is located in other country sometimes.

I used to work with remote Product Owner and testers as well but with one entire Scrum local team. However, I have never worked with a couple of remote developers and Product Owner at the same time until now.

Since, I have found many issues to communicate (and have always user stories in the Sprint Backlog) with the Product Owner and between him and my locale developers I decided to read People’s Scrum by Tobias Mayer where I read many interesting concepts such as working with remote teams is not Scrum.

Bad smell

As soon as I realized the Product Owner is not working full time with my project I started to receive complaints from local developers and testers. Why? Well, in Agile communication is one of the most important item and if the PO is not available every time that is requested by the team you are in trouble.

Why do companies hire only a Product Owner?

Talking with my manager about the issue to have a remote PO I suggested him to hire developers, testers and one Scrum Master to work together as a whole team. His answer was: there are not enough business (clients and money) that justify to expend the investment of hiring more professionals.

At this time, I realized that the company adopt Scrum but it hasn’t get an Agile mindset at all and this is a big challenge that I have to face.

Agile Values

One of the Agile values is:

From this moment, it is very usual to find discussions about what is the best Agile tool to manage Scrum (or Kanban) on Linkedin and Twitter but we have to keep in mind the Agile values instead of choosing any software.

Communication face to face must not be replaced in order to not loose Agile focus.!!!!!!!

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Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero

I am all about helping companies to adopt agile as methodology in Chile. Why? I believe many organizations think that agile is not for Chilean companies because of Chilean culture is totally different from i.e. USA culture but I worked with Chilean professionals who after using agile realized it is feasible to implement it. Agile works in small and large projects and there are many evidences which demonstrate this.

2 comments

  1. Hi Mario, I hope you are doing well. Interesting what you said about Agile values first, but what about developers working remotelly ? We have that, here with at least two teams and it seems to be working for us. I’m curious about the fact that in your case, seems to be that the PO wasn’t fully dedicated to the team instead of having him working remote. I don’t know, now I’m asking myself about how do you do when all the team is distributed around the world? Could we name that Scrum too?

    Thank you for increasing my curiosity about the subject Mario, and thank you for sharing.

    Keep it up.

    Jesus

    1. Hi Jesus

      I was a hard discussion about working with a remote Product Owner who is not full time with my Manager I said to him this is not Scrum.

      Working with remote teams is difficult and if you have the support of your manager is a big challenge.

      Regards,

      Mario

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