Who are the stakeholders
You already know the main roles of Scrum: Product Owner, Scrum-master, Development Team. To release the high quality Product, they need the help of stakeholders — people interested in the Product. Stakeholders help to improve it and make it popular: they try and taste the Product and give feedback to the Team.
Let’s see how stakeholders help the coffee house to gain the trust of customers. The coffee house team is new to Scrum and does not understand why they need stakeholders yet. Autumn is coming, and they prepare to release a new menu in the coffee house.
The coffee house owner relies on the barista’s experience, who chooses 10 popular recipes. During the week, customers taste new drinks in the coffee house, and barista collects reviews. He finds out that half of the recipes need to be redone. During this time, the amount of visitors of the coffee house becomes less.
Together with stakeholders
The owner invites regular customers for tasting before the menu starts. It turns out that customers prefer pumpkin latte instead of the usual, more cappuccino foam and coffee with marshmallow. Barista modifies recipes according to their wishes. Customers like the new menu and advise this coffee house to their friends.
Photo by Kevin Curtis(@kcurtis113) on Unsplash
Who are interested in the Product
Interested people are those who will use the Product for their own purposes. In our coffee house they are customers and barista. Customers pay for their coffee and drink it for their own pleasure. Another thing with barista: the Product he uses is not coffee, but a coffee machine. The coffee house buys or leases it.
The Barista is interested to make coffee well and quickly. He knows how to choose a coffee machine with the best characteristics, so the owner of the coffee house ask him to help. If you do not take into account the opinion of Barista, you can buy a bad coffee machine: it will often break or make tasteless coffee.
Customers share feedback about coffee, and the Barista chooses a coffee machine. They are interested in the Product, but have no influence: if the coffee house owner decides to ignore their opinions, they will not be able to do anything. This will not work with investors — interested people who want to get profit from the Product. They invest money in a coffee house. If it does not make a profit, they can demand their money back.
Investors may not interfere with the work of the coffee house, but can also help: choose the premise, if they have an experience of opening a cafe. Or introduce you to the best Chef Barista in town. It often happens that investors begin to dictate their terms. Scrum protects you against such interference: The Product Owner only-the owner of the coffee house-decides what the Product will look like. He can take into account those opinions that he considers to be important and can ignore all of them. But then there is a risk that the Product will become useless: customers will not buy coffee, and the coffee house will have to be closed. In the worst case, the owner will lose the trust of investors who will not give him money for new projects next time.
How interested people help to make the Product
The Team invites interested people to understand how to improve the Product. They can come if they want to the Product Backlog Refinement and Daily Scrum. The stakeholders are not obliged to attend such meetings. They come, if they have free time and desire to help. But the Sprint Review will not take place without them for sure.
Interested people can help the Team during the Product Backlog Refinement. This meeting is different from the other Sprint events: the Team decides by itself whether to hold it or not. Usually it is necessary if there are big and complex tasks in the Product Backlog that need to be refined, supplemented or divided into small ones. After that, the Team will take small tasks in the Sprint Backlog.
The owner of the coffee shop wants to sell takeaway coffee. He calls those customers for a meeting, who often take away coffee. Customers tell how they are served in coffee houses: what they usually do before getting coffee. The Manager and Barista will learn how to divide the service into stages. And they will think how to speed up and improve each stage.
On a Daily Scrum, stakeholders come to know how the Team moves towards the Sprint Goal. But these events are optional for them, unlike the Sprint Review. It is not carried out without interested people.
Sprint Review is more than just a presentation where people watch slides, yawn and get distracted by smartphones. The Product Owner shows what the Team has done during the Sprint. Interested people taste the Product, share their impressions with the Team and say what they are lack. Feedback helps the Team to understand how to improve the Product next Sprint.
The coffee house successfully works with the customers opinions: the Team immediately receives feedback, and customers see how due to them the coffee house is getting better. At the next Sprint Review the chef shows desserts that will appear in the menu soon. Customers taste them and ask to sell them for takeaway: so they can get them on the way to work and have a breakfast at the office. The Manager takes a note and orders dessert boxes.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao(@nate_dumlao) on Unsplash
Who can become a stakeholder
The coffee shop owner collects as many different opinions as possible to refine and update the list of possible improvements of the coffee house(the Product Backlog). His mom and brother love coffee, so they are stakeholders. If one has no power or interest in the Product, he / she will not be a stakeholder. For example, people who prefer green tea will be useless in the Barista coffee recipes development.
If someone of the interested people is busy and can not come to the meeting, his place will be taken by another one. It is useful to change stakeholders to get different feedback and constantly improve the product.
Stakeholders are important participants in the Scrum work, who help the Product Owner and the Team in each Sprint. Thanks to them, the Scrum Team makes the Product more valuable. If you ignore the opinions of interested people, you can get the non-working and irrelevant Product.
– Everyone who has an interest to the Product
– Help the Scrum Team to improve the Product
– Participate in each Sprint Review
– They are chosen by the Product Owner
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