Scrum: How to be a Business Owner

Get expected results quickly and have control over the project. A user manual by easy.bi

Andrej Lovsin
Nov 30, 2020 · 7 min
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Hello future Business Owner!

You might be wondering why I called you that. “I’m not a business owner” you might be thinking. And you might be right. But if there’s a project you’re starting, you might be entering a new exciting role, defined as the “Business owner”.

 

So you’re in charge of your company’s new project. You carry the weight of your company’s and clients’ interests on your shoulders. You’re the key stakeholder and your decisions matter. A lot. The budget shouldn’t be exceeded and all the stakeholders as well as the end users should be happy at the end. Don’t forget that the stakeholders as well as your company can’t wait to see some results and that they won’t be happy if they aren’t done well and thought through.

Taking over a software project seems quite overwhelming, right? You don’t know how you’d start and you need so many answers you don’t have the questions for yet. But that’s normal, so don’t worry; in the end it turns out, that there are really just three important questions you’ll be asking along the way:

  • What will I get?

  • When will I get it?

  • What will it cost?

When you approach something that seems overwhelming, there is something that you can do to make it less scary: take it a step at a time. This is the approach that has helped us execute our projects successfully, so let me introduce it to you!

What will I get?

Transforming your ideas into a concept and later into parts of the product you have envisioned, can be a bit tricky. That’s why we won’t leave you alone in it! The answer to the question What will I get? is simple: What you need.

But establishing what exactly this means, is a process. So stay with me:

A Product Owner (PO) is there to listen to your needs and help you create the concept for developing your product. For a better overview of all the pieces of the product-puzzle, the PO will first create wireframes for a better visualization of the first idea. The wireframes are a great tool for discussion and adjustments are done very easily and quickly. After that, our UI/UX-designers will prepare a prototype, which will give you a better look and feel of your product. After the discussions are done, the PO will create a User story map and guide you through it. This way you will know every detail of your product and be able to change, update or scale it throughout the process.

During the process we will stay in constant contact, so you’ll be on track. There will be feedback rounds on the wireframes and the prototype. Remember, we’re only doing small steps at a time, as we are Agile.

Why is Agile great you wonder? Well, thanks for asking!

 

Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment.
It is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Requirements, plans, and results are evaluated continuously so teams have a natural mechanism for responding to change quickly.

While the team is developing the first bits and pieces of the product, we’re already creating and polishing the concept for the next steps! Instead of getting one, whole product after a long time of waiting and not being involved, you will get to watch your product grow. It will be delivered to you continuously in the form of many many user stories, each and every one of them bringing value to your business. And most of all, you’re flexible when your requirements or priorities change.

When will I get it?

Working with your PO won’t be a one-time-job, but constant collaboration. When we start the production, your PO will invite you (and other stakeholders) to a meeting, called the “stakeholder meeting” once per week, where you set the priorities to the most important functionalities. Based on the priorities, the work will be conducted. Internally our team is organized according to SCRUM guidelines, so the scope of the work will be defined in 2-week long iterations, called SPRINTS.

In our stakeholder meetings we can define priorities for the next sprints. There will be continuous releases during the ongoing SPRINT, in which we deliver minimum shippable products, that is functionalities, which you can test and use right away. Stakeholders often come up with new ideas, that have an impact on the future concept, after having experienced the implementation of the idea in real life.

So when you’ll get a functionality largely depends on it’s priority, amount of work and where it fits in the product. As mentioned before, each piece of the product needs to bring business value; if there is no business value in delivering it at that time, your PO will probably add his 2 cents to it. We could wrap the answer to the question in this title short: When you need it.

What will it cost?

We’ll charge the actual time we spent working on each user story. Of course we won’t keep you in the dark until you get the invoice: to give you an idea about what it will cost, our team will prepare estimations of the effort needed to complete user stories. Based on the estimations you can then evaluate if the cost will exceed your expectations or if it leaves you space for more features than you thought. The agile approach allows us to remove or add a feature easily or to change their priority. With your PO you can also discuss possible different approaches to the user story you want to scale. The most important thing we’ll keep in mind, is the business value it should bring.

Our team gives it’s best with their estimations of time needed to complete a requirement. But their estimations are only as good as the instructions – and the instructions can only be perfect, when the concept is finished. So to give you a first rough feeling of what the project will cost, with rough requirements we’ll give you as good as possible, but still rough, estimations.

And what will be in the invoice that you’ll get? Simply the work that we have done for you in the past month. Trust me when I say that we track our time very very strictly and with very well defined and distinguished positions. We’ll be able to tell you exactly when we have done what for you and why. Do you want to know our secret to this? Then let me tell you a story about a company that developed the best solution for tracking time…

Who is this?

If you’ve read this far and are still wondering who’s words you’re reading, it’s high time we introduced ourselves!

We’re easy.bi.

Our mission is to make business life easier for any company that’s ready for it. The .bi stands for business intelligence; why don’t you find out what the easy stands for?

Thank you for reading our story. If you want to drink a (real or virtual) coffee together and discuss it, we’re only just a click away.

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