• Agile,  Interviewing,  Product ownership

    Thoughts about hiring Product Owners, Part 3

    This is the third and final part of my series on hiring Product Owners and in this part I go through how to evaluate Product Owner candidates with work samples and through auditions. Part 1 – are you recruiting for potential or experience? Part 2 – questions you can ask in your interviews Part 3 – work samples and auditions <- This post. Effort and reward Before you decide how to evaluate your candidates consider the amount of time and energy you’re willing to invest to learn about your candidates. Asking for work samples and evaluating them yourself requires little effort while running auditions require the most time and energy…

  • Agile,  Interviewing,  Product ownership

    Thoughts about hiring Product Owners, Part 2

    Continuing my thoughts on recruiting Product Owners, here are some questions that might help you evaluate candidates level of experience from Product ownership, and questions that might help you discover if they have potential to learn the role. Please note that: Treat these questions as inspiration and use the ones you think can be helpful to you. This is not a guide to follow step by step. If a candidate is unable to answer these questions it does not necessarily mean that she does not have the potential to learn fast, it might just mean she hasn’t thought of these things. Most of these questions are explorative and the purpose…

  • Agile,  Interviewing,  Product ownership

    Thoughts about hiring Product Owners, Part 1

    I’m going to publish three blog posts that I hope will help organisations more effectively recruit Product Owners (POs). In the first one (this one) I share my thoughts on how to decide whether to hire for potential or experience. I also share some thoughts on how to reduce bias in your recruitment. In the next two posts I’m going to share potential questions that you can ask during your interviews, examples of how to conduct practical tests with POs, and how to work with work samples. Why am I writing these posts? Many companies try to hire POs (or Product Managers) with “many years of previous experience from the…

  • Agile,  Interviewing,  Product ownership

    Questions I ask in Interviews – How do you prioritise your backlog when there’s too much to do?

    Subjective models are charming but hinders clear thinking Subjective prioritisation models are common and easy to understand due to their quadrant nature. In addition they do not require you to motivate your conclusions which  makes them charming to many, but unfortunately this is also what’s inherently flawed with them. If you’re coaching a team e.g org leads team or dev team that uses any form of subjective prioritisation model e.g. MSCW, Risk/Value, Urgency/Importance you can help them make a greater impact by introducing them to objective prioritisation models. Objective models encourages conversations and creates alignment Objective prioritisation models e.g. Kano, CoD, WSJF help members of organisations understand why decisions are…

  • Agile,  Product ownership

    Things I wish I knew before I became a Product Owner

    Being a product owner can be difficult. The role is still fairly new compared to more traditional product and project managers, and every company seems to have their own twist on what it means. There are many expectations on a PO – you need to have domain expertise, be pretty good with data and metrics, communicate well, know how to deal with different people, understand processes, know group dynamics and a lot more. Like agile coaching there’s no single course or book that can teach you everything you need to know. You generally learn by doing, failing, and then doing again. We (Daisy Pilbrow and I) want to help product owners…

  • Agile,  Product ownership

    An Epic discovery workshop (and a guide to facilitate it)

    At some point in time most development teams run out of potential epics to do next for a variety of reasons. Alternatively they can find themselves at a road crossing uncertain about which Epic to implement next. If you ever find yourself in either of these situations here’s a 2-hour workshop that you can run with your team. The workshop can also help create alignment in the team which can be useful in case your your team is having difficulties agreeing over what to do next. The questions and examples in this article come from when I facilitated this workshop with one of the teams that I coach, the Network…

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