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Feature Teams: First Among Equals

by Olga Kouzina, 10 October 2013 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from Edge of Chaos | Agile Development Blog by Olga Kouzina. Click here to see the original post in full.

Last week, in the When One Product Owner Is Not Enough post, I shared some thoughts on when a team might consider replacing one product owner with several feature owners. This time I’d like to tell more about feature teams, and their guiding principles/values, should some of you decide to try this setup in your organizations.


The very first thing to do would be to pick up the feature owners. These people would ideally spend several years working in the organization, where they would track the evolution of the product, having the general awareness of the priorities and business objectives. Of course, the priorities and objectives can be shared and discussed in a conversation with a relatively new person, but someone with the intrinsic knowledge would fit much better. Someone who’s been in the product context for quite a while, as a dev, or as a QA, or as a UX designer, would be able to balance the strategic priorities projected on their feature. A feature owner would eventually become an informal leader, based on the “first among equals” principle (or primus inter pares, as in Latin), where this person doesn’t have the formal “order-forbid” rights, but is viewed by the other peers as a competent authority, as someone who champions the team....

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