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How much time should a PO spend with the Dev Team?
Last Post 10 Jan 2014 04:35 AM by Sandeep Kamat. 11 Replies.
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Nitin Khanna
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Nitin Khanna

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14 Nov 2013 06:39 PM
    If someone were to ask how much time a PO should / expected to spend with the Dev Team, how would you respond?
    Ian Mitchell
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    Ian Mitchell

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    14 Nov 2013 07:57 PM
    A Product Owner should be committed to the delivery of product value, and should spend enough time with the Development Team to meet that commitment.
    Robert du Toit
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    Robert du Toit

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    14 Nov 2013 08:13 PM
    Others with more experience than me could advise better, but...

    I would respond that it's important for the PO to be available to the team on demand, rather than focus on how much of the PO work week will be spent working directly with the dev team.

    The more time a PO spends on grooming the backlog the less time (in theory) would be needed with the team. This depends on the team.

    For a large dev team (9) I it could be full time or close to it.

    For a small dev team (3) it could be less than 25%.
    Robert du Toit
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    Robert du Toit

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    14 Nov 2013 08:14 PM
    Ian's answer is better... as much time as it takes. :)
    Nitin Khanna
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    Nitin Khanna

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    18 Nov 2013 09:07 AM
    What if the question changed slightly to "How much time should the PO spend with the Dev Team during the dev cycle?" -- would there be a change to the answer? How would you respond?

    Robert du Toit
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    Robert du Toit

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    18 Nov 2013 01:23 PM
    Ian's answer still valid. My answer was during the dev cycle. It's about availability rather than blocking off time.

    Availability of the PO/business decision maker is a common problem. We're facing this now. Our PO is an internal, but the person they have designated as the decision maker and provider of answers to functional questions is quite senior. Needless to say, our questions have gone unanswered and there have been delays as a result. Until our client designates someone who has the availability to quickly respond to questions and has the authority to make decisions (which can still be changed by seniors in future sprints), further delays and push backs of the live date are inevitable. We need to help business understand the importance of quick answers and decisions in the development process.
    Ian Mitchell
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    Ian Mitchell

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    19 Nov 2013 01:15 AM
    If someone insisted on asking "how much time" I'd have to respond that the quality of time matters rather more than the quantity.

    This "quality" is partly about making sure the PO role is filled by the right person. Yet even if that is taken care of, an hour in a two-week Sprint might be better than two hours, if it is spread evenly over the iteration and not bunched up into one session.
    Ilia Pavlichenko
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    Ilia Pavlichenko

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    19 Nov 2013 03:15 AM
    Agree with Ian, just enough time to fulfil his commitments.
    Sanjay Saini
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    Sanjay Saini

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    03 Dec 2013 12:32 AM

    Just enough time to keep them going without any delay in response from PO on requirements clarification. Its his product so he should ensure his 24X7 availability :-)

    If Dev team has to wait for 12 hrs because of the remote PO then it won't work.

    Cheers
    Sanjay
    Olivier Ledru
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    Olivier Ledru

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    15 Dec 2013 11:23 PM
    Enough time is when the PBI done by the Dev Team are accepted by the PO during the Sprint and in the Sprint Review meeting.
    If the PO doesn't spend enough time, he will probably be disappointed by the PBI demonstrated by the Dev Team and will tend to rejected the PBI.
    Ian Mitchell
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    Ian Mitchell

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    16 Dec 2013 12:46 AM
    > We do estimate by "effort" also. It is a way for us to estimate "everything" :
    > dev effort ; test effort ; doc effort...
    > It is very common to have something easy to dev and difficult to test or the opposite.

    The work an agile team does is indeed varied, and some of it can be unusually demanding, even if it is not particularly time consuming. Effort doesn't really correlate to time.
    Sandeep Kamat
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    Sandeep Kamat

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    10 Jan 2014 04:35 AM
    I agree with most of the previous answers. Being responsive to the Dev Team questions is most important. I have seen a 10 dev team members to 1 PO for a product that is in maintenance mode. For active new development the ratio might be even lower. Besides being present in person other channel of communication should include email and IM. PO will also need to attend 30 mins to 1 Hr user stories clarification meetings from time to time. Besides this, the PO should be able to effectively carry out the other responsibilities listed in the Scrum guide
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