My name is David Pereira. I help Product Owners and Product Managers avoid the multiple traps ahead of them. I share what I wish to know when I started my journey. I currently work as a Head of Product Management at Virtual Identity.

Some highlights of my journey are:
✔️ Innovate the secondhand car market in Brazil. We created a business of 200M USD per year. I was the Product Owner responsible for three Scrum Teams. I led them in discovering solutions that disrupted this market.
✔️ Exponential marketplace growth: from a 500K € to 45M € revenue per year…

Building working software is no longer a problem; delivering value is the challenge.

In February 2001, the Agile Manifesto was born because building working software was a nightmare for many companies. Something had to change, and the manifesto addressed that very well. Although the Agile Manifesto is still relevant to building working software, our current challenge is another. Today, many companies can build working software, but they fail to deliver value. My philosophy is:

Building features cannot ensure value.

Being Agile is not enough to deliver value.

Until teams can focus on producing value, useless software is the outcome.

A lego army
A lego army
Photo by Mulyadi on Unsplash

I believe it’s time to create a Product Manifesto! We cannot keep building features…

Scrum Teams will never reach their highest potential without solid Product Management practices.

Why do companies hire highly qualified professionals? The answer should be straightforward, but what happens, in reality, is complex. I’ve observed many talented people trapped in the business world from doing what they are capable of. The reasons are endless, but some common ones are:

  • Unskilled managers limit talents by telling them what to do.
  • Complex processes and bureaucracy impede talents from doing what should be done.
  • Obsession for certainty blocks talents from discovering what could work better for the company’s business.
  • Unwillingness to embrace the unknown leads to sub-optimal incremental improvements.

I feel like many companies trap people instead…

The market is shifting in a new direction, can Scrum still find its space?

A chess table with all pieces down besides a pawn
A chess table with all pieces down besides a pawn
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

It’s impossible to ignore how well known Scrum is. For years, Scrum was the first choice among Agile frameworks for most companies worldwide; only a few would challenge it. But recently, something changed, organizations are losing trust in Scrum. After failing to get meaningful results, many places are replacing Scrum with SAFe, Kanban, or other frameworks.

Beyond unsatisfied organizations, experienced professionals are reluctant to work with Scrum. Many people even feel embarrassed to be called as a Product Owner or a Scrum Master. The market is shifting in a new direction, will there still be space for Scrum?

Companies want…

Simplicity is how you can defeat complexity

One of the most daunting tasks of any Product Owner is to prioritize the Product Backlog. Although the activity is crystal clear: put on the top what is more relevant, prioritizing is often a hassle due to endless factors. Yet, I challenge if ordering the Product Backlog is complex or if we make it that way.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

Prioritization often keeps Product Owners up at night. One of the reasons is expectation management. …

Being a Product Owner can be incredibly overwhelming; there are some things you should be aware of.

A person with a magnifier on her face
A person with a magnifier on her face
Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

Since I started writing about the challenges of being a Product Owner, many people asked me one of the following questions:

  • How can I get a job as a Product Owner?
  • How can I develop myself to attract recruiters?
  • What does it take to thrive as a Product Owner?

Although all of these questions are important, I missed one question. Nobody asked me what a Product Owner really does. From my experience, being a Product Owner can be pretty stressful because this role entails high expectations and many accountabilities.

One thing is wearing the hat of a Product Owner; succeeding…

When an agile framework becomes a process, you cannot expect more than mediocre results.

Over the last years, a common question annoyed me, “Which is the best agile framework?” While it’s great that companies want to do agile, they forget to be agile. No agile framework is a silver bullet. Companies won’t get any good results until they are willing to reinvent how they work.

All agile frameworks will suck if companies are unwilling to change their mindset.

A woman with the hands on her head
A woman with the hands on her head
Photo by Uday Mittal on Unsplash

Why do companies often fail with agile? That’s simple to answer; when agile becomes a process, it’s just a replacement for the old implemented process.

It’s impossible to excel with any agile framework without going through…

Demythifying widespread misconceptions about Product Owners

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

It’s astounding how many misinterpretations of the Product Owner role you can find. All companies I know have a particular interpretation of this role, which leads to a different set of expectations, and that is where many problems arise.

I’ve worked as a Product Owner in many different places, and I was almost always surprised with ‘weird’ expectations. Although I thought I knew what to do in this role, expectations between the company and me were often misaligned. What I realized is that many people often land in similar traps as I already did. …

Sharpen your mindset, broaden your perspective, then beat the misconceptions.

A boxer on hall walking to the fight
A boxer on hall walking to the fight
Photo by Attentie Attentie on Unsplash

When you get a job as a Product Owner, the only certainty you have is facing anti-patterns. I wish it could be different, but it’s not. We don’t live in a perfect world. It doesn’t matter the framework you work with; misconceptions are awaiting you. Your success depends on how prepared you are to overcome the daunting challenges on your way.

Although challenges can make you scared, don’t worry, you’re in luck because you don’t need to figure out everything on your own. Many experts in product management are generous; you can find their most valuable insights for free. On…

A thin line between love and hate defines most relationships between Product Owners and Developers.

An angry man shouting
An angry man shouting
Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

In a Scrum Team, developers are the ones who transform Product Backlog Items into increments of value. Therefore, no one else can tell them how to do their work. Yet, Product Owners often ignore this aspect by behaving like a Developer Owner, who defines how developers should do their job. The result is an inevitable frustration. As Steve Jobs said:

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

From my experience, the relationship between Product Owners and developers is like a…

David Pereira

140+ posts on helping product professionals escape from traps and deliver value faster. Head of Product Mgmt @virtualidentity Courses: https://bit.ly/3jEH4r5

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