Squirrel!!

The movie Up! is pretty good. A cartoon, with bits adults can enjoy.

My kids were watching and I was also, out of the corner of my eye.

There was one scene: the ‘bad dogs’ are in airplanes chasing the good guys. And someone yells: “Squirrel!” The bad dogs wreck their airplanes going after the squirrel.

Which of course brings us back to being a Product Owner.

Sometimes the customers, the business stakeholders or the Product Owner…. well, they see too many squirrels.

You know what I mean: ADD. Bright and shinnies.  The new, new thing.  They don’t allow one good business idea to be completed, before there is something new that is the new, new  item.  To work on NOW!

Compare two types of situations:

  1. Too little change: The PO or the situation does not allow the necessary change into the product backlog.
  2. Too much change: There is continual whip-sawing of the Team, from one priority to the next, so that nothing gets done.

Obviously, what we want is something in-between.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Just right.  As with many things in life, it is a reasonable balance, based on common sense.  Sometimes common sense is extremely uncommon.

What I usually find is: We want smaller releases (small minimum marketable feature sets) (MMFS) delivered more quickly.  Thus, we enjoy sooner the business value delivered.  Enjoy it quickly, and the latent ‘earnings’ are earned for longer and grow bigger.

How frequently should you be delivering?  Well, almost always the answer is: more frequently!

Still, in general you must complete and deliver a MMFS to actually get the business value.  So, have a high bias not to get distracted by the squirrels once you start on a MMFS.

The next question is usually — do we do a Release 2?  Sometimes the answer is Yes.  Sometimes the answer is to drop the remaining features in this Product, and move on to the next Product.  This is often a hard question, at least emotionally. More on that later.

 

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