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Topics: Agile, Teams, Using PMI Standards
While preparing for DASSM certification, came across following question :
This is available on the preparatory test :" While role describes the business case, problem or scenario that requires a technical or service solution" , Choices are : Team Lead, Product Owner, Team Member, Architect Owner, Stakeholder. Appreciate response on why you think a role has the knowledge and the reporting channel to have that information.
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Neetu -

I'd lean towards the Product Owner for this given the emphasis on the "what" rather than the "how"...

Kiron
...
1 reply by Neetu Punwani
Jul 06, 2022 8:49 AM
Neetu Punwani
...
Thanks agree with you, however the DASSM exam check refers it as AO responsibility, which I find strange. I am new to this, however would consider it is worth to escalate this with those who can revise or provide feedback on the test for clarity for future learners. Appreciate your thoughts if you know how to resolve this.
Sharing the exam checker : Disciplined Agile Knowledge Check : https://360.articulate.com/review/content/...0aa12cd0/review available on https://www.pmi.org/certifications/agile-c...um-master-dassm
I agree with Kiron, the product owner should cover this responsibility.
Jul 02, 2022 12:49 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Neetu -

I'd lean towards the Product Owner for this given the emphasis on the "what" rather than the "how"...

Kiron
Thanks agree with you, however the DASSM exam check refers it as AO responsibility, which I find strange. I am new to this, however would consider it is worth to escalate this with those who can revise or provide feedback on the test for clarity for future learners. Appreciate your thoughts if you know how to resolve this.
Sharing the exam checker : Disciplined Agile Knowledge Check : https://360.articulate.com/review/content/...0aa12cd0/review available on https://www.pmi.org/certifications/agile-c...um-master-dassm
...
2 replies by Keith Novak and Ramkrishna Kashyap
Jul 06, 2022 6:46 PM
Keith Novak
...
Architecture vs. product definition are 2 different views of a system, at different levels of abstraction. Architecture is more the conceptual layer while product definition is how that concept is brought to life.

The product definition itself, is primarily focused on how the product meets the functional need. The architecture is a higher level conceptualization and includes how it meets the strategic needs of the executing organization.

The product owner is very involved in steering the project per the architected solution and may fill multiple roles, but it is the architect role itself that defines the approach to a problem, such as whether it is an IT solution, or a brick and mortar solution, and the rationale for that decision including the business case.
Jul 07, 2022 4:27 AM
Ramkrishna Kashyap
...
good
Neetu -

I'd recommend sending a message directly to Scott Ambler (in the Community) on this and get his feedback. Based on how it is worded, I believe the PO is a closer "fit" than the AO...

Kiron
Jul 06, 2022 8:49 AM
Replying to Neetu Punwani
...
Thanks agree with you, however the DASSM exam check refers it as AO responsibility, which I find strange. I am new to this, however would consider it is worth to escalate this with those who can revise or provide feedback on the test for clarity for future learners. Appreciate your thoughts if you know how to resolve this.
Sharing the exam checker : Disciplined Agile Knowledge Check : https://360.articulate.com/review/content/...0aa12cd0/review available on https://www.pmi.org/certifications/agile-c...um-master-dassm
Architecture vs. product definition are 2 different views of a system, at different levels of abstraction. Architecture is more the conceptual layer while product definition is how that concept is brought to life.

The product definition itself, is primarily focused on how the product meets the functional need. The architecture is a higher level conceptualization and includes how it meets the strategic needs of the executing organization.

The product owner is very involved in steering the project per the architected solution and may fill multiple roles, but it is the architect role itself that defines the approach to a problem, such as whether it is an IT solution, or a brick and mortar solution, and the rationale for that decision including the business case.
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jul 06, 2022 8:46 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
Keith -

From an implementation perspective, nearly every PO I've worked with either "owned" the business case for the product or was tied at the hip to the leader who did. The AO is a technical role in DA - it could be played by a senior dev on a small team for example. I would expect the PO to have much greater ability to articulate the "why" behind the project than the AO.

Kiron
Jul 06, 2022 6:46 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
Architecture vs. product definition are 2 different views of a system, at different levels of abstraction. Architecture is more the conceptual layer while product definition is how that concept is brought to life.

The product definition itself, is primarily focused on how the product meets the functional need. The architecture is a higher level conceptualization and includes how it meets the strategic needs of the executing organization.

The product owner is very involved in steering the project per the architected solution and may fill multiple roles, but it is the architect role itself that defines the approach to a problem, such as whether it is an IT solution, or a brick and mortar solution, and the rationale for that decision including the business case.
Keith -

From an implementation perspective, nearly every PO I've worked with either "owned" the business case for the product or was tied at the hip to the leader who did. The AO is a technical role in DA - it could be played by a senior dev on a small team for example. I would expect the PO to have much greater ability to articulate the "why" behind the project than the AO.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Keith Novak
Jul 07, 2022 12:14 PM
Keith Novak
...
If the PO owns the architectural definition, then I would say the PO is really wearing 2 hats which is quite common, at least on smaller products. It's like the term "technical PM" or a PM who performs BA functions. One person, multiple roles. The distinction embedded in the test question is whether defining the underlying problem is an architectural or product level function, so "What is an architecture?". While you can take entire courses on that question, the top level problem statement is one architectural view of the solution space. What need is addressed by this product?

The PO will further define the product from the problem statement such as through user stories, providing cost estimates based on planned work supporting the business case, but do so within the boundaries of the solution space defined by the architecture. Whereas the business case from the AO might be, "We need a product that costs less than $X" from a top down perspective (defining the need), the PO business case is based on an estimate of the work required to develop the product itself.

The roles are collaborative, so the PO's work definitely may influence the architecture, but it is the architect that is ultimately owns the boundaries of the solution space, and the qualities of a solution that make it a better or worse fit.

The dual role also doesn't necessarily scale up well. On large integrated systems, the overall architecture can span multiple business units and many interconnected products. One product owner can't make decisions for every other product owner.
Jul 06, 2022 8:49 AM
Replying to Neetu Punwani
...
Thanks agree with you, however the DASSM exam check refers it as AO responsibility, which I find strange. I am new to this, however would consider it is worth to escalate this with those who can revise or provide feedback on the test for clarity for future learners. Appreciate your thoughts if you know how to resolve this.
Sharing the exam checker : Disciplined Agile Knowledge Check : https://360.articulate.com/review/content/...0aa12cd0/review available on https://www.pmi.org/certifications/agile-c...um-master-dassm
good
Jul 06, 2022 8:46 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Keith -

From an implementation perspective, nearly every PO I've worked with either "owned" the business case for the product or was tied at the hip to the leader who did. The AO is a technical role in DA - it could be played by a senior dev on a small team for example. I would expect the PO to have much greater ability to articulate the "why" behind the project than the AO.

Kiron
If the PO owns the architectural definition, then I would say the PO is really wearing 2 hats which is quite common, at least on smaller products. It's like the term "technical PM" or a PM who performs BA functions. One person, multiple roles. The distinction embedded in the test question is whether defining the underlying problem is an architectural or product level function, so "What is an architecture?". While you can take entire courses on that question, the top level problem statement is one architectural view of the solution space. What need is addressed by this product?

The PO will further define the product from the problem statement such as through user stories, providing cost estimates based on planned work supporting the business case, but do so within the boundaries of the solution space defined by the architecture. Whereas the business case from the AO might be, "We need a product that costs less than $X" from a top down perspective (defining the need), the PO business case is based on an estimate of the work required to develop the product itself.

The roles are collaborative, so the PO's work definitely may influence the architecture, but it is the architect that is ultimately owns the boundaries of the solution space, and the qualities of a solution that make it a better or worse fit.

The dual role also doesn't necessarily scale up well. On large integrated systems, the overall architecture can span multiple business units and many interconnected products. One product owner can't make decisions for every other product owner.
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Jul 07, 2022 1:42 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
Keith -

I'd say the way the AO role is structured from DAD (where it originated) was focused on the technical architecture (the "how") whereas I'd definitely see the PO as working with business architects to incorporate an understanding of existing capabilities and associated roadmaps.

As far as the question goes, I think it is a bit too ambiguous to pass muster via any rigorous psychometric testing process as there'd be too many votes for the PO role.

Kiron
Jul 07, 2022 12:14 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
If the PO owns the architectural definition, then I would say the PO is really wearing 2 hats which is quite common, at least on smaller products. It's like the term "technical PM" or a PM who performs BA functions. One person, multiple roles. The distinction embedded in the test question is whether defining the underlying problem is an architectural or product level function, so "What is an architecture?". While you can take entire courses on that question, the top level problem statement is one architectural view of the solution space. What need is addressed by this product?

The PO will further define the product from the problem statement such as through user stories, providing cost estimates based on planned work supporting the business case, but do so within the boundaries of the solution space defined by the architecture. Whereas the business case from the AO might be, "We need a product that costs less than $X" from a top down perspective (defining the need), the PO business case is based on an estimate of the work required to develop the product itself.

The roles are collaborative, so the PO's work definitely may influence the architecture, but it is the architect that is ultimately owns the boundaries of the solution space, and the qualities of a solution that make it a better or worse fit.

The dual role also doesn't necessarily scale up well. On large integrated systems, the overall architecture can span multiple business units and many interconnected products. One product owner can't make decisions for every other product owner.
Keith -

I'd say the way the AO role is structured from DAD (where it originated) was focused on the technical architecture (the "how") whereas I'd definitely see the PO as working with business architects to incorporate an understanding of existing capabilities and associated roadmaps.

As far as the question goes, I think it is a bit too ambiguous to pass muster via any rigorous psychometric testing process as there'd be too many votes for the PO role.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Keith Novak
Jul 07, 2022 9:20 PM
Keith Novak
...
I think people are over-complicating the question, which is possibly the intent of the chosen wording. Test writers do that a lot.

If the question was written as, "Who defines the fundamental reason for why a solution is needed in the first place." it would probably seem clear that is architecture. By using the term business case as one kind of rationale, people's minds go to the detail level as a PM or PO would create for justifying their solution because that is what they are accustomed to doing. That's not what it asks though.

I think it is quite clear when you break down the question into it's components. The subject is "role". The predicate is really "describes the reason why a solution is necessary"; "Business case, problem or scenario that requires a technical or service solution", is merely decomposing the need into different potential types or rationale. It's not asking who does the financial analysis of the chosen solution path.

The AO answer is completely in agreement with definitions I find from PMI. It may refer to DAD usage, but that came from IBM who is full of people well versed in they difference between system design, and architecture, and the different perspectives of an architecture. They're also not diverging from the definition of architecture consistent with other widely applicable BoKs.

Certainly the AO is more involved in what you refer to as the "technical architecture", because it's generally a lot more work to describe the system under design, then it is to describe the need for a system. The definition of architecture though is "fundamental concepts or properties of a system in its environment embodied in its elements, relationships, and in the principles of its design and evolution (ISO/IEC/IEEE 2015, Section 4.5)" A business case describes how the product aligns with the business environment. Without that, a cost driven product is a solution without a problem.
Really appreciate the responses in line with the role's job responsibility, however when we refer to the question, there are few context related facts to be taken into consideration : The question is written as a form of exchange of information between parties, what comes to your attention when you read the following : "While role describes the business case, problem or scenario that requires a technical or service solution" : What do you think is the context here.. the other party is the team or a peer or some Portfolio member and notice the problem can be technical or service solution.

If the situation only referred to technical debt / issue, then AO is definitely the first person to know about the issue and raise it for awareness to say PO to include it in the sprint.
However, I have rarely seen AO writing business case or haven't come across any Architecture training that shares knowledge on how to evaluate and write the many aspects of Business case, such as customers impacted or impact to sales and other divisions which requires a holistic impact assessment which POs are trained to work on.

The focus in the question is "which role describes the business scenario or problem...", it is not asking for which role has the solution for business scenario or problem ... which requires strategic technological stack solutioning.

Appreciate thoughts.
...
1 reply by Keith Novak
Jul 07, 2022 2:55 PM
Keith Novak
...
The term "describes the business scenario or problem", simply means to write it down formally. A formal system architecture is described in multiple separate views including the problem statement, conceptual solution, and technical views of the solution such as the logical, functional, and physical architectures along with requirements.

Architectures also include qualities often referred to as "illities" such as sustainability, produceability, profitability, and affordability. These are the critical qualities which make a good solution. When trading illities such as customer cost to technical performance, those are strategic considerations that may shape the product outcome.

Business cases may be created at multiple levels. The architecture level business case is a strategic rationale such as: The product must be affordable to the customer or it won't sell and profitable to the performing organization or it doesn't make sense. A description of a problem such as "We need a product that does X and that costs less than $5M in order to be a viable business venture." describes the problem to address as per the test question. The detail level business case of how the product meets the business targets is not a description of the problem, but rather the analysis that the product as defined fits the business case/problem statement.
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