Tool used by Product Owner

Last post 05:50 pm February 20, 2019
by Daniel Wilhite
6 replies
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04:05 pm February 19, 2019

Hi everyone,

i have this question: the PO must use some specific tool to monitoring the total work or no tool is mandatory?

Thanks a lot.

Flavio.

10:47 pm February 19, 2019

Scrum does not advocate a specific tool to support any of its framework.

11:25 pm February 19, 2019

Hi, 

This is also my opinion.

Thanks a lot. 

Flavio 

08:01 am February 20, 2019

Line #1 of the Agile Manifesto: Individuals&interaction over processes and tools. Besides that, the Scrum Guide mentions nothing of a tool. In my experience talking to people gives the PO a lot more information about the work done than using any form of tooling. 

Which doesn't say the can't be helpful, but it's in no sense mandatory.

08:20 am February 20, 2019

"Individuals & interaction over processes and tools"

Although Scrum team (SM, PO, Agile Developers)  usually are in constant touch but using a tool makes their work easier. I believe tools such as (JIRA, VSTS) promote transparency among team and other stakeholders.

If tools are being used (to track the progress, to maintain Product Backlog, estimation etc) PO can just open and check. Otherwise he needs to be physically present with team or contact them via call or mail which can result in distraction.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

08:36 am February 20, 2019

I appreciate your thoughts and I agree with you, physical presence can become an obstacle sometimes. 
On the other hand, team members are required to keep the tools up to date in detail in my experience which can lead to reluctance to do so. In my humble opinion cards/tickets/tools should contain enough detail to be clear for the ones involved and at that point lead to transparent working. 

The interaction in this case can also be finding the best workable solution with regards to transparency, respect and focus together. This can be in JIRA, Kanban, Trello, or just with a big whiteboard and Post-Its. Discuss, experiment and adjust to figure out what works best.

05:50 pm February 20, 2019

Transparency of information is the part I see as most beneficial.  That transparency should extend outside of the Scrum Team in order for the stakeholders/organization to better understand what is being done.  How that is done is entirely up to the people involved in providing and consuming the information.  Jira, shared Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, 3x5 index cards in a central location, physical board on a wall created with painter's tape and post-it notes, whiteboards with dry erase markers are all methods I have experienced.  None is better than the other as a whole however there is one method that is better for you organization that another.  To find it, experiment with them all. 

If tools are being used (to track the progress, to maintain Product Backlog, estimation etc) PO can just open and check. Otherwise he needs to be physically present with team or contact them via call or mail which can result in distraction.

Regardless of what method your organization decides to use, there is nothing that will replace the need for face-to-face communication.  Even if there is a distance between the participants. Just "open and check" is not going to convey all of the nuances of progress or lack of progress. When I have seen your method used, it has always lead to failure.  Talk to each other as often as possible.  Don't communicate via electronic methods. Not all information is verbal.  There is a lot to be learned by seeing physical reactions and body language.