20 New Year’s Resolutions for Scrum Product Owners

The end of the year is nearby, time for some New Year’s resolutions! As I experienced a lot of stress within the role of Scrum Product Owner, and as I know you’re busy, I’m going to help you get started…

Here are 20 New Year’s resolutions to get you started:

  1. Update the product’s vision (or make one if you don’t have one) with your stakeholders and teams.
  2. Identify where you want your product to have an impact and do some impact mapping with your stakeholders and teams.
  3. Release more often, do not wait until the end of an iteration.
  4. Release value the Lean Startup way.
  5. Have that tough management conversation you’ve been putting off.
  6. Remove a (some) feature(s) from your product.
  7. Start focusing on faster feedback and learning and stop focusing on getting more stuff out the door.
  8. In meetings, ask more questions and make fewer statements.
  9. Start clarifying with the team, stop clarifying for the team – facilitate your teams to discuss items directly with the users.
  10. Inbox zero. Avoid mail, just talk.
  11. Start working with a true rolling wave plan, estimates are estimates and not a contract or commitment.
  12. Remove Program and Project from your vocabulary, you do not want your product to have a short start-stop experience but a long lasting life full of joy and happiness.
  13. Try to figure out what the LTV (Life Time Value) is for a product user.
  14. Start building your product for the users and not for management.
  15. Merge product areas so that you get at least 4 teams working on your backlog.
  16. Try design thinking with your team.
  17. Try bringing work to creative teams instead of creating teams around work.
  18. Try to work with the teams to eliminate all “undone” work that is still happening after the iteration (or in a hardening/release sprint).
  19. Work with your teams and stakeholders, not for your management/stakeholders or teams.
  20. Join a startup community and talk to founders, they are in the same boat.

Bonus advice: Attend a Certified LeSS Practitioner training, you might discover you misunderstood the role completely.

Some of the above are definitely on my list, what’s on yours? Let us know.