DevOps for a Product Owner

DevOps for Product Owner

In Conversion with Dr. DevOps

Product Owner: Dear Dr. DevOps. Thanks for your appointment. I’m hearing about DevOps everywhere. Can DevOps cure my problem? I have been following Scrum past 5 years but still not successful in going to market faster with good quality and reliable software.

Dr. DevOps: Yes Indeed. DevOps is built upon the core principles of Agile and Scrum. It crystalizes its concepts, what we call “Three ways: continuous flow, earlier feedback and continuous experimentation and learning”.

Product Owner: I’m curious Doctor. Can you elaborate more on these three ways for me?

Dr. DevOps: First Way: Understand and increase the flow of work from Dev to Ops and to end user ultimately (left to right). Most of the challenges with product owner are due to the lack of his or her visibility in how a user story is delivered to the customer. Especially, the hand-off from Development team to operations team is quite grey. DevOps prescribes to bring in your Ops team also during your Sprint Planning, Daily Stand-Up, Review, and Retrospective meeting. This will help you understand the non-functional acceptance criteria better.

Product Owner: Really make sense Doctor. I used to wonder why it is taking time to deploy even a simple feature to the customer while dev team is done with it. What is the second way, early feedback means to me?

Dr. DevOps: The real success of a feature/ user story comes when end user gets a value from it. Value is quite hard to quantify. Every user story can be seen as a hypothesis. Best way to build a feedback mechanism that can help to prove your hypothesis. Second way enables a fast and constant flow of feedback from right to left.

Product Owner: This is an eye-opener for me, Doctor. I always believed that my end users know their requirements better. But they always come with changes once delivered and in worst case those features are not fully used by them.

Now, brief me on the Third way: Is my Sprint Retrospective not a Continuous Learning and Experimentation.

Dr. DevOps: Very true, but DevOps goes beyond a Sprint. The goal of the third way is foster high trust culture by continual experimentation, taking risks and learning from failure. I would suggest you explore Lean Experimentation”. 

Product Owner: Thanks for the prescription. One last question. Do I need to apply all these three ways every time?

Dr. DevOps: In general it depends on the maturity of the organization. Generally, I recommend to start with the first way and move towards the third way.

Product Owner: Thanks for your time. This sounds to be an effective dose to me.

Dr. DevOps: It was my pleasure. Keep me posted on the progress and share your feedback as well.

About the Author

Hari G, widely known for his keen analytical and product development skills, brings in 17 years of rich experience in execution of technology strategies and solutions that support company growth. As the CIO, Hari leads Agile, DevOps, Automation and analytics practices of TaUB Solutions.

Hari has extensive experience in user experience (UX/UI), Business Intelligence and Analytics, and building data-driven solutions using Agile methodologies

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