I am a Product Owner on a Scrum Team whose developers do not want to embrace work in an agile, incremental fashion. Simple example: the customer currently has to contact us to create users each time so we run them directly in SQL as there is no UI. This happens many times during the day. Occasionally there are other requests, like resetting the password for a user. When it comes to developing new features, they insist to have a Backlog item called 'Users Grid', with everything written in (CRUD operations, business logic operations like reset passwords, get related users, etc), and we deliver the users grid in one go with all the functionality; whereas I want to have separate backlog items, one for each individual functionality I just mentioned, and deliver items incrementally over a number of Sprints according to priority and business value. So for example we first deliver the Users grid providing CRUD operations (that would hit the biggest customer pain point quicker) and then deliver the other features in subsequent sprints.
My rationale is that functionality is easier to develop and test if it is incremental; it reduces risk, we can showcase things earlier to the customer and get feedback earlier. Whereas, to them, it's easier if we do not chunk up work and deliver things complete right away.
I fear we are ending up with a lot of mini-waterfall projects and I have tried everything to get them to move away from this approach; I rather suspect it's the team leader's lack of experience that is shaping the team in this fashion. We also have an agile coach on hand who is supposed to help the team embrace this way of working, but the minute he's not looking we're back at this.
I tried to communicate this countless of times, but each time I am met with blank faces and opposition. I have arrived at a situation where I'm tempted to let them work they way they want so that they learn from the mistakes, which I am sure they are going to crop up. But I'm worried the project, and customer, will suffer. I have never had these issues in the past. Am I missing something? Any ideas what else I can try?
(I come from a development background and advanced in roles between development and project leading over the last 20 years, so i do understand some of the comments from developers below. I evolved into a PO role on a natural transition because i was spending a lot of time dealing with customer requirements, so i appointed a technical team lead to focus on the technical/team issues while i focus on the customer.)