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Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love [Paperback]

Roman Pichler
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 22 2010 Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)

The First Guide to Scrum-Based Agile Product Management


In Agile Product Management with Scrum, leading Scrum consultant Roman Pichler uses real-world examples to demonstrate how product owners can create successful products with Scrum. He describes a broad range of agile product management practices, including making agile product discovery work, taking advantage of emergent requirements, creating the minimal marketable product, leveraging early customer feedback, and working closely with the development team.


Benefitting from Pichler’s extensive experience, you’ll learn how Scrum product ownership differs from traditional product management and how to avoid and overcome the common challenges that Scrum product owners face.


Coverage includes

  • Understanding the product owner’s role: what product owners do, how they do it, and the surprising implications
  • Envisioning the product: creating a compelling product vision to galvanize and guide the team and stakeholders
  • Grooming the product backlog: managing the product backlog effectively even for the most complex products
  • Planning the release: bringing clarity to scheduling, budgeting, and functionality decisions
  • Collaborating in sprint meetings: understanding the product owner’s role in sprint meetings, including the dos and don’ts
  • Transitioning into product ownership: succeeding as a product owner and establishing the role in the enterprise

This book is an indispensable resource for anyone who works as a product owner, or expects to do so, as well as executives and coaches interested in establishing agile product management.

Frequently Bought Together

Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love + Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum + User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development
Price For All Three: CDN$ 98.25

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“Product owners have had few places to turn to for advice, despite having the hardest role on an agile project. This book rectifies that. Roman Pichler’s insights into the duties of the product owner are powerful and practical. Correctly applied, his advice will benefit any product owner and agile team.”

–Mike Cohn, Author of Succeeding with Agile, Agile Estimating and Planning, and User Stories Applied


“Scrum is silent on how a product owner can maximize value. Most product managers and marketers don’t know how to use the iterative, incremental nature of Scrum to do so. Roman has filled this hole nicely with his new book, Agile Product Management with Scrum.”

–Ken Schwaber, codeveloper of the Scrum process


“With so little written on the intersections of agile methods and product management, Roman makes a significant contribution to the field. The book provides clear guidance and rich examples on how to become an agile product manager and a successful product owner, and, further, how to lead with a strong vision. This book is a must read for product managers new to Scrum, product owners new to product management, and any product manager who wants to get the most out of Agile.”

–Greg Cohen, Principal Consultant, 280 Group and Director, Silicon Valley Product Management Association


“I’m always happy to hear what Roman is thinking. What I really like about this book is that he not only shares his experience (“Common Mistakes” is a great section), but he also brings in the wisdom of others in the field. This powerful combination allows him to see farther ahead and share that vision with us. Thanks, Roman!”

–Linda Rising, Independent Consultant and coauthor of Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas


“Roman Pichler’s new and remarkable book focuses on the product and the product owner role, applying Scrum to the whole value chain. His experience as a coach leads to genuinely balanced, practical, and applicable solutions for every conceivable situation in the product lifecycle. This is the definitive reference guide to agile product management for all practitioners!”

–Markus Andrezak, Manager, Outsourced Product Development, GmbH


“Roman Pichler’s product owner book is an easy-to-read and comprehensive description of the important role of the product owner in Scrum. It points out the significance of vision and leadership, as well as minimal marketable products and short release cycles. It is a resource for new product owners to get into their job and gives management good advice on choosing the right person for that job.”

–Andrea Heck, Dipl-Inf (Univ.), Agile Transition Project Manager


“The product owner is a vital role in Scrum, and Roman’s new book is a welcome contribution to helping product owners succeed.”

–Craig Larman, coauthor of Scaling Lean & Agile Development and Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development


“Roman’s no-nonsense approach takes Scrum back to its roots, examining and building on the fundamental concepts behind product ownership. The focus on teamwork is a welcome antidote to process-centric views of Scrum, showing how the product owner role changes and challenges the status quo of the traditionally run project. Well researched, Roman leverages both his own experience as well as that of others, clearly showing how Scrum product ownership works to solve common problems, citing realworld examples of both success and failure. Scattered with practical tips, this book is for anybody who wants to manage or to be a Scrum product owner and release successful products using Scrum.”

–Simon Bennett, Global Competency Lead and Product Owner, EMC Consulting


“Roman Pichler’s Agile Product Management with Scrum is destined to be a vital reference for agile product managers, product owners, business analysts, and anybody wanting to be a great agile product manager. Roman shares practical tips and guidance on all aspects of agile planning, the care and feeding of your product backlog, and the essential activities of visioning, valuing, and collaborating. Agile Product Management with Scrum will raise your awareness of the complex, multifaceted discipline of agile product management. Better yet, all agile team members will benefit by reading this book, because on every successful agile team, we all think like product managers.”

–Ellen Gottesdiener, President/Founder, EBG Consulting, Inc.


“Agile software development is about incrementally converting requirements into working software using short iterations. Agile Product Management with Scrum answers one of the most important questions in product organizations: “Are we building the right product?” Or, as Roman so passionately put it in his subtitle, Creating Products that Customers Love. Roman’s book is the long-awaited link to turn a broad vision into meaningful and digestible requirements. It provides a thorough introduction to the Scrum framework for product managers and executives who are eager to reduce development costs and time-to-market delivery of exciting new software products.”

–Jochen Krebs, Incrementor and Author of Agile Portfolio Management


“Roman delivers an agile product management book that clearly describes the importance, challenges, and pitfalls of the product owner role. Using practical examples, highlighting common mistakes, and supplying reflection questions at the end of each chapter, Roman makes the role of product owner easily accessible and doable. This is the book to read for any organization wishing to implement Scrum.”

–Jessica Hildrum, former CEO of Norway’s premier Agile training company


“At the core of every successful agile development team is a visionary, engaged, and empowered product manager. In Agile Product Management with Scrum, Roman Pichler gives us a simple, no-nonsense definition of the role that will lead any Scrum team to amazing results. For all of you that want to get under the covers of the most important role in agile development, this is the book for you. A must for every new product owner!”

–Steve Greene, Vice President, Program Management & Agile Development,

About the Author

Roman Pichler is a leading Scrum and agile product management expert. He has a long track record in teaching and coaching product owners and in helping companies apply effective product management practices. In addition to this book, he is the bestselling author of Scrum–Agiles Projektmanagement erfolgreich einsetzen (Scrum–Applying Agile Project Management Successfully) (dpunkt.verlag, 2008). As a Certified Scrum Trainer, he led the Scrum Alliance effort to develop a curriculum for the Certified Scrum Product Owner training. Find out more at

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the money Nov. 15 2013
By Andrew
I am relatively a newbie to agile/scrum as a Product Manager and I can say that this book was concisely written and provided tips which I could implement easily in my day to day work.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a Product Owner and is engaged in Agile/Scrum.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just what you need to know Aug. 3 2012
By Reza
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not intended as a Product Management book. It's about Agile and specifically the role the Product Owner plays in an agile team. In that regard the book delivers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Most of my career has been primarily in Product Management: New Product Development (R&D) and Software Development. I have been an advocate of the "Gating Process" as a way to bring products to market and have had a growing interest of Agile Sofware Development. Agile does away with the need for Project Managers (too much emphasis has been placed on PMP's) as being the lead, but rather puts the onus on the individual team members to set goals, take responsibility and deliver. I have now become an advocate of Agile and the idea of "Product Owners".

At first I took offense to a Scrum Master telling a Product Manager what to do. However since software delivery is a large part of what a Product Manager is ultimately responsible for the entire product then I am an advocate for any better of way of developing and delivering products. At the end of the day if Agile works then I am for it. This book does a good job of defining how the Product Owner should work in an Agile World, however doesn't describe all the other duties of the Product Manager ie Product Management: product marketing, product positioning, product lifecycle management, cross impacts of product introductions, and all aspects of the product. You will have to look elsewhere for this information. This book focuses more on "Product Development" rather than "Product Management". (Title should be Agile Product Development)

Remember at of the day as Product Manager you will be responsible for the product throughout the product lifecycle and ultimately the success of the product, so the sooner you embrace Agile Product Development the better off you will be.

Gary E. Smith
Senior Business Analyst
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 7 2011
By Peter
A good book for highlighting how my manager should work as a product manager instead of a dev manager. The book explains in great detail the role of a product manager and the rules that they should work by in order to enable the scrum team to achieve great results.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillant reference publication on Agile Product Management April 17 2010
By Markus Andrezak - Published on
Although there are not many books out there on the market on product management from an agile perspective and it would be quite tempting to come up with an uncomprehensive, thick, large, theoretical book (and publishers like thick books), Roman Pichler withstood that temptation. Instead he came up with a very concise, thin, digestable and very well understandable practical guide for the complicated role of a product owner in an agile environment.

Although the book is quite thin with a mere 130 pages, I couldn't yet find a situation in the typical product owners live which is not covered in the book in some form with some practical advice. Rather than being abstract and counting down all possible solutions, Roman Pichler concentrates on a few solutions which it makes it easy to choose and apply them. This is his recipe for making the book applicable to everyday life rather than being encyclopedic.

I really think every PO beginner (and there are quite a few out there with the current rate of Scrum adoption) should have a copy of this book as well as the experienced one's as i is really worthwhile to take the few hours and sit back to rethink your role.

I am happy that this book is now published in contrast to the multitude of Scrum Master oriented literature.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise coverage of just what product owners need to know June 3 2010
By Michael Cohn - Published on
As a project management framework, Scrum introduces many changes. One of the biggest is the role of the product owner who represents the users or customers of a product or system. The product owner is responsible for making sure the right product is being built and in the right order. This forces the product owner to think iteratively and incrementally about the product--rather than a small set of large decisions made at the outset of a project, the Scrum product owner makes many more but smaller decisions throughout the course of a typical development project.

This excellent book provides new and experienced product owners with the guidance they will need to work in this new way. The book focuses on precisely what you need to know in order to be a great product owner. Author Roman Pichler assumes that the reader is either an experienced traditional product manager learning Scrum or will pick up an additional book on traditional product management. This allows him to focus specifically on the unique product management challenges of using Scrum. He covers how to create a shared vision of the product, which is more difficult on Scrum as its iterative nature avoids a prolonged upfront specification phase. Pichler covers thorough coverage of creating a product backlog, planning a release, and collaborating with the team during the sprints ("iterations") of the project. He also provides advice on how to transition into the new role of product owner.

There is a shortage of fantastic product owners in the world. This book will help fix that problem.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive for PO role but not for creating products that customers love Feb. 27 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is comprehensive about Product Owner role within Scrum. Except for some do's and don'ts for the Product Owner role the book basically refactors Agile and Scrum content available in many other books. This pretty much covers the main title of the book.

But my expectations were also raised by the sub-title of the book: "Creating Products that Customers Love". Unfortunately the book didn't provide any new insights in this area for me.

Still a good read for Product Owners and people new to Agile and Scrum but not if you really want to deepen your understanding about product ownership and management.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Educative and Useful. A tinge flabby for my taste, though Oct. 21 2011
By R. Pokkyarath - Published on
A good book. The only problem I've with it is that at times the book sounds a little too academic. Every now and then I attend corporate training sessions and whenever the discussion turns to soft skills such as leadership, empowerment, commitment and so on, I invariably find myself suppressing my yawn or exploring the hitherto unexplored features of my mobile phone. There are a few times when this book transports me into that state, for example, when the author talks about the qualities of vision or empowering individuals or when he quotes Schwaber and Sutherland and Beck and others to drive home his point. Other than that it was a nice read for me. The author covers relevant areas like release planning, release management, stories (functional and non-functional), product backlog maintenance, sprint review, sprint retrospective, common pitfalls like feature creep and so on. So the tone of the book is not one that is purely designed to give you a toolkit to get up and running (the various charts and matrix), but one that meanders a bit around the soft skills for your team.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Guidebook for Product Owners Nov. 2 2010
By Vernon Stinebaker - Published on
The Product Owner role is key to effective Scrum and before Roman's book perhaps the most underserved in terms of available information describing the characteristics, responsibilities, and techniques for fulfilling those responsibilities.

Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love epitomizes the agile approach. The book is short and concise while still providing comprehensive coverage of the both the role and responsibilities of the Product Owner as well as practical advice on performing effectively as a Product Owner.

The second chapter Envisioning the Product is by itself worth the price of the book. Roman has distilled the essence of this most critical activity, which unfortunately is all to often missed in the product development cycle, and provided some specific suggestions about how to envision a new product including a brief discussion on how the envisioning process itself can be achieved using Scrum.

The other chapters are equally valuable and provide concise, useful information that Product Owners (and ScrumMasters and Scrum team members) can quickly reference and benefit from.

Many books get read once and then put aside. I confident that won't be the case with Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love. This book is easy to read from front to back, and I'm positive my copy will become well worn as a reference I will continue referring back to as a just-in-time reference well into the future.

Whether your a Product Owner, ScrumMaster, Scrum team member, or just someone who's serious about creating better products, get this book!
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