PO webcast #7 – A way to incorporate Stakeholders in the full process – with Kevin Voges – part 1

Heads up: I was ill during this recording, so I’d like to apologize in advance for any sniffing noises or incoherent speech from my part. Luckily the guests do most of the speaking!

In this episode we chat with Kevin Voges, Product Owner of AFAS Personal and Product Manager (Project Portfolio Management & CRM products) for AFAS Software. Kevin takes us along on his Journey from a student startup (Yunoo) to where he is now in AFAS. We explore the similarities and differences of his roles and the context of the organization, Products and teams Kevin works with. In the rest of the interview we keep contrasting both roles to the topics at hand, for instance where those two roles may conflict. In the intro we additionally look at how Scrum is applied/interpreted in Kevin’s work; learning from ‘just follow the rules’ to ‘letting go’ and look at what works with the right goals in mind, for example the Daily Scrum.

In working with the team(s) we discuss the reasons to move from a weekly cadence to other rhythms, for instance in response to market changes and product lifecycle. Kevin shares the struggles with agility around goals and adapting to new insights during sprints, going from ‘this is what we agreed to, so fix it!’ to collaborating on an adapted plan together with the development team. The key to a great collaboration according to Kevin is trust. This gives the basis to challenge and be honest with each other in reaching the shared goals. We round off this section with Kevin’s best and worst quality according to his teams. What would it be?

In Stakeholder Management & Value Steering’ we dive into the importance of customer support work for the entire company, including getting feedback and ideas, both from users and usage. Kevin shares some good tools you could use in your Stakeholder management, or do like AFAS and roll your own (using AFAS ERP). Focus groups can be a way to incorporate Stakeholders in the full process, from initial idea to use in production. Using their own product helps AFAS discover what is valuable and provides a very strong marketing tool. HR is run by 1 person for the whole company, with anything automated that can be! We also discuss how Kevin approaches quality & focus by saying no, as well as the plans to open source the AFAS HR approach.

Closing off we wrap up some key points from the previous parts, and Kevin shares an article about the dogmatic side of agile methodologies. The key message that resonated with Kevin was to stay true to yourself and beware of not wanting to change too much (or you’ll break). Basically, do what feels right and inspect/adapt on that. We also have a small plug of Prowareness’ magnetic ‘post it’ notes.

Links & Resources
• Kevin Voges Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinvoges/
• @kmvoges Twitter – https://twitter.com/kmvoges
• Afas Personal – https://www.afaspersonal.nl/
• Afas Software – https://www.afas.nl/
• Scrum for Dummies – http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1119467640.html
• The Scrum Guide – http://scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html
• Dogmatic Agile article – https://www.mindtheproduct.com/2012/05/beware-the-dogma-of-agile-and-lean/
• Buy Prowareness magnetic Post it notes – http://webshop.scrum.nl/PW002–scrum-board-magneten-%2875mm-x-75mm%29.html
• PO/PM Meetup – https://www.meetup.com/Agile-Product-Delivery/
• User Feedback tools:
• https://www.uservoice.com/ (SaaS)
• https://getsatisfaction.com/ (SaaS)
• https://www.discourse.org (self hosted open source)

Category: Podcast
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