alexchiri

3 minute read

Take into consideration the following scenarios:

Scenario 1

Caleb is a product owner which works with a software development team in a successful product company. Caleb has a grand vision for the product that he is responsible for in the company. It is a vision that will probably never see the light of day exactly in the shape he imagines it right now, but maybe somewhere along the lines. In order to make this vision happen, Caleb works closely together with Dave, the tech lead of the development team.

Dave also has a vision, a technical and architectural vision that would enable Caleb’s product vision in a good and reliable way. Dave didn’t come up with the technical vision on his own, it was based on good technical practices and the business environment but also on the feedback that resulted from brainstorming with the whole development team. The entire development team understands and recognises the business value of the product vision and contributed to and feels responsible for the technical vision.

Now while Caleb would never admit it, he got a few very good ideas from the team as well. They are all convinced they are doing the right things in the right way and even if they will be proven wrong (although these things are rarely black or white) there will be things they will all learn from it and apply them in the next iterations.

Scenario 2

Caleb is a product owner which works with a software development team in a successful product company. Caleb has a grand vision for the product that he is responsible for in the company. It is a vision that will probably never see the light of day exactly in the shape he imagines it right now, but maybe somewhere along the lines. In order to make this vision happen, Caleb needs to work with Dave, the tech lead of the development team. Caleb finds it difficult to work with Dave and the dev team, it seems like they are always complaining about things, they never agree with him and he feels that he always has to push them from behind to deliver. They don’t get his vision and don’t seem to be that positive in general.

Dave and the team have infinite discussions about the technical stuff but they cannot seem to agree on what would be the best long term approach. They understand Caleb’s vision and the business value it has, but something doesn’t fell right. It seems too ambitious and in the way the company is moving, it will never get done. Plus, they are swamped with all kind of small changes that are hardly related with any vision. It’s just work that comes their way and they have to do it, because someone decided so and gets pushed to them through Caleb.

As Caleb, Dave also has a technical vision on how to architect and design the services that support the product vision, but they hardly have time to make significant steps towards it. Many things they release generate technical debt which will slow them down in the next releases. In several occasions they had to simply stop whatever they were doing, fix some major failure, bring the systems back floating and then resume. Although they have retros and they take all kind of action points to improve things, the situation doesn’t seem to change that much. And nobody gets what’s the point with these visions if they never get done!

What do you think? What’s the difference between them? Which one would you like to be in?

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