re: Being Your Own Product Owner VIEW POST

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The big promise, at least of the early agile movement was, to use a phrase attributed to Kent Beck, "healing the divide between development and business". This division had (and has) a negative impact, and therefore introducing it artifically in a "team of one" is to some extend, if not counterproductive, then at least pointless.

But, in your pursuit to deliberatly practice the business analyst/product owner/manager role, may I suggest to consider something that has become a bit of a lost art: writing up a software requirements specification in a more formal manner than "user stories". The story format originally was intended as a "promise for a future conversation" between people closely working together. A perferctly legitimate tool, albeit not as a replacement for a spec, and again a bit pointless in a team of one.

Here a few suggestions for skills/traits, that I could imagine, would make a product manager/business analyst, that many developers would be thrilled to work with:

  • Writing up good use cases, instead of "user stories". For example Alastair Cockburns "Writing effective use cases" is still a very good book on that subject.
  • Using the behaviour driven development approach to create an executable form of a specification
  • The concept of the "ubiquitous language" of the domain-driven design movement is something that I personally value greatly
  • Sketching UIs (and involving devs in the ideation phase)
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