Product Owner Masterclass

The Product Owner role is probably the most important role in any Agile development team. But it is also probably the most misunderstood role, and often poorly performed as a result.

This 2-day, exercise based course, Product Owner+ course goes beyond the more common courses and to help participants become more than just backlog administrators. The focus is on value in an Agile environment. Familiar Agile techniques like User Stories are examined with a fresh focus on delivering value with time constrained environments.

Topics include:

  • Writing and collaborating on User Stories, and placing value on individual stories and how value changes over time (cost of delay).
  • Managing, structuring and prioritising a product backlog with respect to value.
  • Different types of Product Owners, e.g. Business Analyst and Product Managers as Product Owner.
  • Working with multiple product owners and the tactical/strategic model.

Participants are encouraged to ask questionsand bring their real-life projects and problems into the classroom for discussion.

A free follow up day to review stories, working practices, backlogs, provide advice and consulting is available to accompany this course.


Three major exercises form the backbone of this course. These are supplemented by lecture style material and group discussion.

One exercise illustrates the difference between requirements and specifications, highlights specification by example and executable specifications, maximising delivered business value and how understanding changes with experience.

In another exercise attendees simulate requirements gathering, from stakeholders down, examine the differences between epics, stories and tasks, and assign value to stories. Attendees often use this exercise to simulate a real life development effort.

A third exercise has teams critique real users and consider how their own stories can be improved. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own stories to add this exercise.

Key topics

  • Valuing requirements: assigning value to stories, how value can change over time (cost of delay, weighted-shortest job first) and how value is evaluated.
  • Three essentials of product ownership: legitimacy, authority and time.
  • The differences in requirements and specifications, and how both are incorporated in different ways into Agile working.
    The Agile spectrum and how different styles of Agile change the requirements process.

  • How product owners and and professional testers work together: setting different types of test (definition of done, unit tests, acceptance tests, UAT/beta test, etc.)
  • Product owner work outside of scrum and iterations: how do product people learn what they need to know to fill the role inside the scrum?

Who should attend?

This course is designed for practicing Product Owners and those who work with Product Owners: be they Business Analysts, Product Managers or other roles.

Those who are new to the Product Owner role will find the course takes a fresh view of the standard product owner material while those who are experienced in the role will find the course an opportunity to rethink, or reaffirm, some of their own practices.

Those who are not, Product Owners, but work closely with product owners, e.g. Project Managers, Development Managers, Architects and Subject Matter Experts, will also benefit from better understanding how their roles collaborate with Product Owners.

Optional extras

Several extra modules may be added to this course on request. These include:

  • Agile Primer
  • Story Mapping
  • Planning and forecasting
  • Using role mapping to understanding roles and responsibilities

Other topics may be removed or additional time added to this course to facilitate these topics.


All attendees receive:

Materials for exercises are included in the course price.

A free follow-up consulting day is offered when this course is booked direct. This day may taken anytime within three months.

Designer and instructor

This course is designed and normally delivered by Allan Kelly, BSc, MBA. He is the authors of three related books: Changing Software Development (2008), Business Patterns for Software Developers (2012) and Xanpan (2015). In addition he is the originator of *Retrospective Dialogue Sheets* and a regular conference speaker and journal contributor.

Allan has been called a “Thought leader” in Agile although he prefers a more modest description. He has over 30 years experience in developing software, mostly inan Agile way, has been delivering Agile training for eight years and has consulted with companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Reed Elsevier and Reuters.


To find out more about this course in more detail or to discuss scheduling and pricing please contact Software Strategy on +44 (0) 20 3286 4292, e-mail us or use the contact form.