Mike Cottmeyer discusses today on his blog the companies working and talking about their process rather than the output of it. I can really relate to this. Too often organizations try building the perfect process without considering the actual outcome. I can truly recommend reading The Goal – A process of Ongoing Improvement.
In this book the focus of the process work is to constantly improve the process to reach the goal of the organization. What do you do? Well, I work as a project manager at the IT department of TUIFly Nordic. But the goal of my work is not to complete IT projects, the goal is to get our customers to have the holidays of their dreams. And my processes should all focus on this goal.
According to The Goal, You don’t talk so much about your current process, instead you improve it and the focus for the improvement is working around the constraints in the process. The idea is that all processes have their constraints. It can be a testing environment which is hard to get access to. It can be a specific developer, who’s work is essential but who works many projects. Yes, you map your process but the rule is to constantly improve the process. Because when you’ve optimized the process with the constraint in mind, new constraints pop up.
It is therefore very interesting when Mike discusses that many scrum teams states that the goal is to have a product owner and how that mindset shifts the focus from What to How. Using the terms of The Goal, this means that you are not optimizing the process from the real goal of the organization, but for the sake of living the Scrum team.
So, what do I think? Well, as I state in one of my comments on his blog, the dedicated sole wringable neck has no self serving value. If you don’t need that, skip that. But if the tasks often filled by product owners in scrum is a constraint in your process of reaching your goals, you should form a role which best handles this constraint. And I do think that one person taking that responsibility is often a good solution. But as Mike states; that’s not a goal in itself, but can be a way to reach the goal.