Chapter 27

Product Kaizen—The Value Driver for Your Product

We've talked in Chapter 7 about how important Product Owners are in the whole Agile process. This is still true. This will always be true! Whether you call this individual a Product Owner or something entirely different doesn't remove the tremendous importance of this role for a company or team. I like to call this individual the Value Driver to the team. The Value Driver is the person responsible for determining what the team is going to build.

Simply put, the Value Driver should be able to quickly answer the following questions:

  • Why are we building this and what problem do we intend it to solve?
  • Who is the primary user of our product?
  • What is important for the primary user?
  • What are the issues or constraints we should be aware of?

I've often been asked about what I believe a Value Driver should be like in terms of character and skill set. I've even taken an entire year and have primarily spoken about the Value Driver at several conferences and meet ups. Here are my Top 10 Value Driver Qualities and Characteristics:

1. Engaged leadership—The best Value Drivers are engaged in the entire process. Disengaged leaders find themselves outside of the process quickly. Engaged Value Drivers are natural leaders who lead their team through decisions and make it apparent to their teams that they are committed to not only the process, but the final product as well.
2. Available within reason—The best Value Drivers are available ...

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