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CODING TEAM THEORY: Flaky Product Ownership

· team,coding

Miscommunications between Product and Engineering can easily lead to Scope Creep.

There are two important behaviors that fall under this category:

―A Product Owner submits incomplete requirements, leading to extra engineering time spent toward filling in the gaps or resulting in ‘miscommunications’ later on.

― A Product Owner changes their requests after implementation began, leading to missed  deadlines.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE IT

This pattern tends to reveal itself in recurring scope creep driven by the same product owner. You may notice a significant expansion of code that wasn’t driven by code review in the back of the sprint.

WHAT TO DO

Ambiguous or changing requirements from a Product Owner can often be a sign that that person is stretched thin. They have too much to work on, so nothing gets their full attention. 

It’s helpful, for that reason, to have a discussion with their manager.

The handling of the situation should generally be left to the Product Owner’s manager.

If it’s an issue of too much work, it can help to eliminate the individual’s work in progress. Otherwise, it may simply require coaching around any areas they tend to overlook when creating specs.

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