In software, building the thing right is easy… identifying the right thing to build isn’t!
“A shared responsibility”, by Jelle Dekker
In a recent blog post, I explained why every consultant at Bizzomate needs to be a Mendix expert and a designer who takes a proactive role in helping clients develop the necessary applications to grow their business.
In SCRUM, the product owner (PO) is responsible for what is built. The PO should ideally be someone from the client’s company. The PO must be knowledgeable, have a vision of how the business can grow and have the mandate to act.
However, the fact that the PO is responsible for what is built does not mean that there isn’t room for any design input from the project team (the consultants). The PO knows the business needs best, but the project team can and should proactively help the PO shape and realise his or her vision.
Often, Bizzomate consultants aren’t familiar with the business they will work in when they start a project. However, they are very keen to learn and observe, do interviews and analyse how a company works. This curiosity gives them a perfect outsider’s view to help shape the vision of the PO. They also bring the technical know-how needed to turn a concept into a working solution. It’s up to the project team to proactively consult the PO on how the business can grow, even during the project. Therefore, the project team has to explain to the PO how the puzzle pieces fit together. As outsiders, it is up to them to help the PO with innovative ideas to realise the vision.
So yes, in SCRUM, the PO is ultimately responsible for what is built. The project team, on the other hand, must act as designers because they shape how the application is developed and can help make a vision tangible. Discussion leads to better understanding plus new ideas; it’s not the PO’s responsibility to ensure that the project team understands the concept. It’s up to the project team to know how the client’s business can grow and to implement the idea to help the client.
We are software “architects, analysts, techies and designers” and throughout the years we’ve created a pragmatic and creative approach to identify the right problems to solve before you start with the development of the bits and bytes. No long research studies, no thick reports but 4 clear steps to success.
Are you solving the right problems, or are you making software that nobody asked for??
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Jelle Dekker – Mendix Expert @ Bizzomate