Releasing The Product For Product Owners – Part 2
The scrum master and scrum team will also have some consideration in the process. Features may need to be grouped using technology considerations such as touching the same component of the software. Taking this into consideration helps reduce the technical risk that could be introduced in later sprints. Risk management will also influence the prioritization of features. The product owner must work closely with the scrum master to consider the order of feature delivery to minimize risk to the effectiveness, speed, and quality of the sprint.
User stories should also have a value assigned to them. This could be evaluated through a formal weighting process or by consideration of needs communicated by the end user. Higher value items should obviously fall into the must-have category. The lowest value will usually present themselves as want to have in the product ecosystem.
Release Management and Communication
The product owner will work closely with the scrum master, scrum team and stakeholders to plan and communicate releases. A release may be the features executed in a single sprint or consist of multiple sprints. DevOps processes are used to combine the delivery of features from development sprints with operational practices to promote code and configurations. Multiple sprints merged into the same release should be regression tested to validate compatibility.
Releases can be managed so that only the components of the project sprint are included, or a release can also contain minor bug fixes. It is important that all components of a release be validated together. Throughout the life of a project, the product owner will update the feature sets planned for each release. Features that cannot be successfully tested with the holistic release are removed so as to not introduce risks and bugs into the production environment. Removal of a planned feature may negate other features delivered in the same sprint if there are significant dependencies.
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The Product Owner has significant responsibility in the product planning, prioritization and release management of features. Combined with a need to understand the inner workings and challenges of the scrum team, backlog management produces a living artifact that can be adapted throughout the life of a project. Dates and components are accurately identified so that feature delivery meets the needs of introduction to the market.