In the vast realm of software development, the role of a product owner is pivotal. It’s not just about managing a product; it’s about envisioning its future, steering its course, and ensuring that it delivers value. Today, I’d like to delve into a story from Microsoft, a tale that underscores the profound impact a product owner can have.

In this video, Martin discusses the transformative journey of Microsoft’s product development, highlighting the significant contributions of two individuals: Brian Harry and Aaron Bjork. 🎥🔍

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Brian Harry, the product unit manager for Team Foundation Server (now Azure DevOps), was at the helm of a vast team. He recognised the limitations of a two-yearly release cadence. Such a lengthy cycle meant that feedback loops could extend up to four to six years, a duration far too long for any product aiming to stay relevant and responsive to its users.

Enter Aaron Bjork. Together with Brian, they embarked on a mission to transform the way Microsoft approached product development. Their vision was clear: to shorten these feedback loops and foster a more agile approach to product development. Their efforts laid the groundwork for Microsoft’s season-based model, a cadence that allowed for more frequent releases and quicker incorporation of user feedback.

But it wasn’t just about changing a release cycle. It was about changing a mindset. Brian and Aaron’s relentless commitment to this vision, coupled with their profound respect within the organisation, enabled them to drive significant change. Their efforts didn’t just impact their product; they transformed the ethos of Microsoft’s product development approach.

Their story serves as a testament to the power of visionary product ownership. It’s not just about managing features or prioritising backlogs. It’s about seeing the bigger picture, understanding the broader ecosystem, and driving change that has lasting impact.

In conclusion, the role of a product owner is not to be underestimated. As demonstrated by Brian Harry and Aaron Bjork, with vision, determination, and a bit of Scottish tenacity, product owners can be the catalysts for transformative change in any organisation. 🚀🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

NKDAgility can help you.

These are the kinds of issues that lean-agile practitioners love and most folks hate, and if you find it hard to engage Product Owners, my team at NKDAgility can help you or help you find a consultant, coach, or trainer who can.

If you have issues that are undermining the effectiveness of your value delivery, it’s especially important to find help as soon as you can and not wait!

Which you can do right now. You can request a free consultation with my team or sign up for one of our upcoming professional Scrum classes. Because you don’t just need agility, you need Naked Agility.

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