Friday, March 30, 2012

Training Course Review - Passionate Product Ownership

Course Passionate Product Ownership
Presented by Jeff Patton 
Organised by SoftEd 
Held in the Hilton Hotel Brisbane 

Overall: 5 Stars

Day 257. The Plan.

The venue, room and training materials were all prepared ahead of our arrival. The room was set up for five groups of five people. Each table was stocked with extensive pens, paper, index cards, sticky notes, printed notes, etc. There was also the book ‘Inspired’ by Marty Cagan and a USB drive with over 500Mb of material including slides, cheat sheets, guides, articles, templates, and all of the videos that he showed to us.

The catering was timely, organised and tasty, well done to the Hilton. Eating lunch in the recently refurbished restaurant was pleasant and hassle free. They took our lunch orders at morning tea and served it to us promptly on our arrival at lunch time. The facilities were great however I was not a big fan of the chairs. 

Jeff is an excellent presenter, facilitator and educator. He made it all look so easy to keep a diverse group engaged and focused for two solid days. His extensive knowledge and real world experience in many different contexts shines through as he provides examples and answers questions with ease. Combining all of his skills he was able to keep us on schedule while still addressing the widely varying needs of the audience (different contexts, skills and experience). It was very impressive to see Jeff in action.

There were practically no slides projected, he used spoken word combined with a projection of the drawings and notes that he made in real time. This approach of projecting the web cam of his drawing was very engaging. Jeff made extensive use of games to get us to experience our new knowledge and techniques in action. Towards the end of the course he gave away a copy of ‘Game Storming’ by Dave Gray. A quick flip through this book (one of my colleague one it) told me that Jeff has used plenty of ideas from this book in his course preparation and deliver. It is going onto my must read list.

Discussion regarding Scrum was limited and rightfully so. I have heard of others attending CSPO courses that are practically the same as a CSM course.

The vast majority of the two days was spent on the Discovery Phase, understanding product goals, target outcomes, users, interactions, activities and business prioritisation. There was only a small amount of content and on planning and co-ordination. Jeff is focused on building the right product, which is exactly the focus that a Product Owner should have. 

Overall it was the best course I have ever attended. The change at work has been profound with many of our attendees now using techniques from the course in our day to day work. There are also plans to consider rolling out more of the approaches and techniques with our upcoming releases.

I highly recommend this course for all managers, coaches, scrum masters, business analysts and of course product owners.

Photo by: Kris Anderson