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Are you a product owner or do you want to learn more about this role? The Product Owner training of Gladwell Academy gives you great insights into the tasks and responsibilities of product owners, and it addresses common issues which you as a product owner have to deal with in practice.

As a product owner you fulfill a specific and important role in the organization. You are the value optimizer, the product backlog owner and responsible for prioritizing all needs. You are the link between stakeholders, customers, end-users and the development team. But how do you do this?

The training helps you to understand the theory necessary to succeed in the Professional Scrum Product Owner exam. More importantly, it offers practical suggestions which you can immediately apply in your own organization.

As I want to give trainings myself, I followed one of the trainings of Gladwell to learn and decided to write out it. In this blog I will answer two simple questions, what does a Gladwell training look like and what kind of questions exist regarding the product owner role?


“Depending on the participants’ knowledge and experience, the trainer adopts a different approach to explain the material”


As a consultant I like knowledge and theory, but I also enjoy to learn by doing. On Wednesday morning, we started the training with the Marshmallow Challenge. We had to build a tower with (uncooked) spaghetti, tape, rope and one marshmallow in small groups. This challenges shows the essence of the agile mindset and was a nice game to begin with.

The first day focused on the agile values and principles, and the scrum framework was explained. All trainers have on-the-job experience (as a coach or consultant), so they use their own experiences to help illustrate the theory. Depending on the participants’ knowledge and experience, the trainer adopts a different approach to explain the material. During the training, we performed several exercises which helps to really understand and adopt the agile mindset and scrum framework. For example, we had to write a product owner job description including characteristics, requirements, tasks and responsibilities. The exercise helped to think carefully about the role of the product owner and it resulted in interesting and informative discussions about the role.

 

On day two, more practical knowledge and tools were discussed. The tools are not included in the exam but have proven to be really valuable to product owners in practice. Examples are storymapping, stakeholders management and writing user stories. I especially enjoyed the exercise where we had to ‘story map’ our morning routine. It was very practical and easy to implement yourself.

Because the exam is quite tough, it is highly recommended to study. Therefore, both days are also focused on getting used to the type of questions that will be asked in the exam. To prepare for the exam, we played a game to test our knowledge and we performed a practice exam.

At Gladwell Academy, a training is never set in stone: everybody is allowed to bring up issues and cases they want to discuss. Several questions which came up during the product owner training were:

  • What is the difference between a stakeholder and the product owner?
  • How many product owners do we need?
  • How many product backlogs are necessary?
  • How do you manage dependencies?
  • What are the responsibilities of a scrum master and product owner?
  • How to determine the value of the different items?

One of the most valuable things you can get out of the training is that the issues that are discussed are based on actual experience from the participants and the trainer. This is what I liked the most!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: FAYETTE BOSCH

Fayette Bosch is a consultant at BlinkLane Consulting. She completed her master’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Management Consultancy.

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