Skip to main content

Student Q&A: When the Chief PO defines the Release Plan without the PO or Stakeholders w/ Jim Hayden

Dave Prior Senior Consultant/CST-CRM Specialist
Reading: Student Q&A: When the Chief PO defines the Release Plan without the PO or Stakeholders w/ Jim Hayden

In this episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, we focus on a question submitted by Jennifer, a student from one of our recent classes. She asked about what to do when the Chief Product Owner is defining the Release Plan without input from the Product Owner or the Stakeholders. During the podcast, LeadingAgile’s Jim Hayden and Dave Prior dig into reasons why that might be happening, and how to respond.

Show Notes

08:00 Interview Begins
00:46 An update on Jim and his recent motorcycle accident
03:15 Topic Introduction – What to do when you have a Chief Product Owner who is defining the release without inout from the Product Owner or stakeholders.
03:29 Explanation of the Chief Product Owner role
04:04 Jennifer’s question
04:18 Jim explains of the PO’s role with regard to the release and the role the Chief Product Owner plays
05:09 The release plan is never set
05:44 How the Product Roadmap impacts the Release Plan
08:16 What happens when you create a release plan
10:35 Wisdom from Chet Hendrickson about Release Plans
11:12 The business wants/needs the ability to make and meet a commitment for work that is valuable, usable and feasible
12:02 A tactical view of what may happen if the CPO is imposing the release plan
12:40 How Jim would respond in this situation
15:04 Should the PO expect the CPO to include them in creating a release plan?
15:52 Where things go wrong
16:30 It’s not kind of like an insane work environment, it is an insane work environment
16:58 What should the PO or the SM do in this situation and why the CPO may be pushing the release plan down to the PO and Team
19:20 Suggestions for how to retrospect with the CPO (since they aren’t included in the Scrum Team’s Sprint Retrospective
21:28 Figuring out why this is happening and how to improve communication to address the true issue
23:18 Addressing a lack of clarity about the roles
23:49 Finding a time and place to have a safe conversation with the CPO
24:23 Jim’s parting words of advice on the issue
24:40 Don’t be an order taker
24:50 Having patience and empathy for the CPO
25:40 Where you can send questions we will use in future podcasts
26:20 Podcast ends

Contacting Jim

You can reach Jim on the LeadingAgile site at

Contacting Dave

You can reach Dave on the LeadingAgile site at
On Twitter at
Or on his personal site at:


If you have comments on the podcast, or have questions for the LeadingAgile coaches that you’d like to have addressed in a future episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, you can reach Dave at

LeadingAgile CSM and CSPO Classes

For information on LeadingAgile’s upcoming public CSM and CSPO classes, please go to:
Use the discount code: LA_Podcast to receive a 15% discount on the class.

Next Derek & Dave - The Heart of Agile 2017

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *