17 10 2014
Celestial Cows and Product Owners
Today I happened to doodle a cow from Indian mythology- The Kamadhenu. This celestial cow is supposed be the giver and will make all your wishes come true (Almost the mythical equivalent of Google!).
Obviously Kamadhenu is revered and worshipped in most Hindu households in India. It occurred to me that while we speak of products, most team members look at their Product Owners(POs) as someone who is the Kamadhenu for their project. They expect them to have ALL the answers for their questions. It’s true that the PO defines the product vision and decides what is required for the success of the product. However the team members should realise that they are no celestial beings and they are also figuring out the product along with the team.
When I coach my teams, I make sure each and every team member understands and accepts this wholeheartedly. I ensure the PO and the team build a relationship based on trust and respect. That’s exactly what the Agilists mean by ‘Focusing on Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation’.
Trust me there is no better way to inspire innovation.