If you don't mind, I'll join in with my views on the subject.
Joop, i must confess that i had the same doubts that you have. But if we assume that is the customer Business Manager that owns the Product Backlog, we are saying that only companies with experience in SCRUM could do projects with this methodology. From what we see in our everyday experiences, most of OutSystems customers have no previous experience with SCRUM or Agile.
Of course that customer Business Managers with large experience in working with SCRUM, can and will have a large involvement with the EM in prioritizing the backlog. I believe that even a Business Manager with no SCRUM experience, after a couple of releases of a project will probably start having an idea of what those priorities could be.
But the way I see it, the EM must have the ability of managing a project in a customer with no previous knowledge of SCRUM and be the owner of the product backlog, and must have enough knowledge of the customer needs to be able to prioritize it.
João Filipe Rodrigues
First let me thank you for your feedback and second let me answer your questions one by one:
I agree that the product backlog is ultimately defined by what we call the Business Manager (BM).
(The Business Manager is the customer representative empowered to take project decisions when necessary in direct coordination with the Engagement Manager),
Yet from the project perspective the EM is the one that ensures progress and prioritization. Always aligned with the BM he is on top of the project backlog and keeps everyone focused on getting it delivered. As João Rodrigues mentioned, we fill in the gap for less experienced BM managers, allowing Agile projects to be delivered on "unprepared" business units. So indeed the EM is the SCRUM PO, in an ideal world the EM could be a SCRUM PO from the Customer with Outsystems training.
Adding to Pedro explanation we have to split the impediments into two groups. When these impediments are related to project activities, like data bootstrapping, customer training, hardware availability, and others like these, yes, you are correct. When related to architectural, technical or team performance issues those are the responsibility of the DM.
You are correct. I don't think it is often that it happens, yet it depends on the definition of often ;). I would say that whenever the team get's stucks it's the DM role to kick it forward. The DM is responsible for the team performance, identifying bottlenecks and taking measures to maximize the team throughput.
I believe that the misleading part is that although the EM owns the Product Backlog, he owns it project terms. What this means is that by allways aligning it with the BM, the actual owner is the BM, while the EM ensures that the correct features gets done! We are indeed lowering the burden within the customer of managing the projects. From our experience that allows the customer to keep focused on his business and we on delivering what he needs.
That's the reason for the two roles with different concerns:
Thanks everyone for the input and let's keep it running...