Ever heard this monolog? The idea that you need to come up with a different story for your product owner, because they understand only features and not the technical maintenance work. The idea that all the technical maintenance work should be baked into the work, even if it transforms the scope of the work?
We ended up reframing this discussion. Let's be nice to the product owners, and enable them the fact that the feature is in the production sooner. It gets real feedback sooner, and it starts paying itself back sooner. And let's trust that it is ok to do the needed cleanup after, without baking it in.
Sometimes, the feature-orientation and control of the product owners causes development teams some peculiar behaviors. So this post is a start of my new thing to focus on: what could we do so that the relationship of the perspectives wouldn't be based on rules (who gets to decide what) but on trust and collaboration.