Product Owner and Stakeholder - agreement Vs alignment

You cannot make everybody happy. As a product owner, you really need to understand it. The only point is to deliver value not to be a pleaser.

Why it is important to understand the market, be an expert, and keep evolving?

As a product owner, it can be overwhelming to handle all the customer/stakeholder requests. The PO can feel the pull from all the ends. The only thing that the PO needs to concentrate on is, delivering value. Analyzing which request will result in contributing to ROI(return on investment) and end-user satisfaction.

Watch out for an anti-pattern when the PO turns out to be a pleaser. The stakeholder satisfaction will be temporary but soon that will pile up in frustration and loss of opportunity to encash on the time-to-market or ROI.

What is the difference between agreement and alignment?

Every customer needs to align and know what the PO plans to deliver/release. Customers might not be in agreement with the priority and value of the item released. In such cases, the organization should trust the PO to deliver value for long term gain rather than just focusing on short term customer engagement or satisfaction. This is one of the main reasons why a PO needs to be an expert to understand the market needs.

Consider a health-related app, Customers want to have an alert for washing hands, were as a particular customer wants to have a feature that allows sending birthday wishes to there end-users. The PO takes a stand to deliver the alert feature during this COVID-19 crisis rather than the birthday wishes.

The statistics are clear how many end-users will have birthdays during this month compared to how many end-users will benefit from the alert for washing hands. Will this feature results in more app installations, will it increase end-user satisfaction are some important pointer the PO needs to consider.

Alignment is more important than agreement, in this case, it helps promote transparency. Rather than letting the customer anticipate what will be released, they are exactly aware of what is going to be released.

When you are standing on a cliff, jump to fly not to fall… I am an aspiring writer who loves to write about agile mindset, my own experiences and kids stories