I'm Technical Leader for a software project dedicated to manage the "VIP people"-yearOfWork of a big company.
Basically, to make it simple for this post, the project is a mix of a social network (between those VIP people) and a meeting network, where any one of them could be aware and participate to their respective yearly meetings.
My Product Owner is, oddly, not one of those VIP people but one who remotely manages them (creating meetings etc, establishing their profile etc.).
He's part of the Secretariat Team.
He argues that he knows their jobs and therefore thinks mastering their needs.
The project is supposed to evolve through agile principles, to receive feedbacks early, but:
- Product Owner puts focus on features that is viewable, usable and focus on the management team, HIS team.
- Product Owner argues that his team (secretariat) should benefit of this product to spent less times on redundant tasks like creating meeting for VIP people.
- The backlog is full of Secretariat-oriented features and I can't see any VIP people-oriented features.
- No workshop with customers to study deeply THEIR needs.
We got some feedback that VIP people find the software very light but interesting, but the product owner can't bear of the word "light".
Customers are not aware of the amount of tasks under the hood dealing dedicated to the Secretariat Team; I'm sensitive to their "appointment".
Product Owner thinks wrongly that the sofware is for HIS team more than VIP people and he's wrong.
How to make the Product Owner realize that he doesn't put focus on the right customer and that it is a huge risk regarding the project's lifetime since whole project budget is almost fully spent?
How to make the Product Owner realize that receiving a feedback like "pretty good project; but lacks some promised features after 5 months of work" is not like "Wow amazing!" feedback?
I was very disappointed as a technical leader when the customer said: "5 months for that ?!"; indeed they just see a very very short number of features they can "play" with.
Rest is hidden from them.