Product Owner Anti Patterns

How to Fail as a Product Owner

Here’s an infographic I put together for some recent Product Owner training. Its a light hearted, humorous look at what you should do if you want to fail as a Product Owner. What NOT to do as a product owner. I hope you like it. Please feel free to use it but give me credit!

Follow the following advice and your certain to fail as a product owner

Be absent

Make sure you’re not available when the team need you.

Not the only one

Multiple product owners means multiple version of the truth – confusing, eh?

Be a product owner for many teams

Spread yourself so thinly that you don’t know the detail.

Be prescriptive

Tell the development team exactly how they should deliver the story – they’ll love you for it!

Have a favourite stakeholder

Don’t balance all stakeholder needs. Just pander to the one you like the most/shouts loudest/crucial to your career…

Disrespect the timebox

Keep the devs on their toes by changing scope or adding stories mid-sprint.

Don’t ask for feedback

Ignore customer/stakeholder feedback – after all, what do they know about product development?

Don’t bother with acceptance criteria

If you don’t provide clear acceptance criteria then the team won’t know when they’re done with a story and you can sneak some scope change in at the last moment. Sneaky!

Ignore Technical Debt

A blunt saw will still cut the tree down (eventually).

Don’t share your vision & strategy

They don’t need to know, and if they did they would probably disagree – you don’t need that hassle. PSST – you don’t need to bother creating one too!

No empowerment

Not being empowered to make decisions means you can blame someone else when it goes wrong. You’re not responsible. You’re off the hook.

Estimate backlog items

Why bother the team? Just estimate yourself. Then you can make unrealistic promises to your stakeholders.