Scrum and the PSF Community

January 10, 2021

Over the last year, my professional role has shifted massively from a developer to a product owner. I still do a lot of coding, but I'm spending more and more of my time guiding and mentoring other developers to do the building for me. I re-watched this summary video of Agile Scrum and the role of the Product Owner, in order to brush up on my vocabulary:

I wanted to share it here, as I think this is a good 'lens' to view the changing governance structure at the PSF. Agile Scrum provides a path for reaching the goals on the PSF roadmap.

Notes from the video

  • Product Owner (PO)

    • Has a vision
    • Knows 'Why' the product is being built.
    • Knows 'Who' is going to use the product.
    • Pulls stories from the Backlog each week for the Dev Team to work on.
    • Is responsible for not overloading the Dev Team with too many stories per week.

      • The 'WIP Limit' is the long-term average number of stories the Dev Team can complete per week.
    • Is responsible for saying 'No' to the stakeholders, to prevent the Backlog from getting too big.
    • Is responsible for prioritizing user stories, through collaboration with the Stakeholders and Dev Team.
  • Stakeholders

    • The people using, supporting, or any way be effected by the product being developed.
    • Work with Product Owner to create User Stories
  • User Stories

    • POs and Stakeholders collaborate the write down User Stories
    • Stories go into the Backlog.
  • Dev Team

    • Progress is measured by the number of 'stories' released per week.
    • Invests heavily in automated testing so as not to get bogged down by manual testing.

Applying the model to the PSF

What struck me in watching this video was the way in which it could be applied to the PSF community with just a few tweeks of vocabulary:

What PSF really needs to focus on is growing the number of Product Owners.

Each square in the PSF roadmap is a product. I'm already at the limit to what one man can do in terms of managing, building, and growing a product. It's my hope that I can work with like-minded individuals to attract more experienced JavaScript developers. Devs who can join the PSF community and become a Product Owner: people who can take on the responsibility of a product, manage devs, and work with the Stakeholders.

It takes a special temperament, solid skills, and several years of experience to be a good Product Owner, based on my experience working at companies that follow the Scrum model. These people are hard to find, and expensive to keep. But the desire to protect privacy, circumvent censorship, and engage in economic activity are ideals that many people can get behind. They are out there. The PSF just needs to find and attract them.