We’ve converted the ‘Product Owner’ definition from the 2013 Scrum Guide into cartoon form to illustrate the role of a Product Owner in a Scrum team.

(from the 2013 Scrum Guide)
The Product Owner

The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.

The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:

  • Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;
  • Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions;
  • Ensuring the value of the work the Development Team performs;
  • Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next; and,
  • Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.

The Product Owner may do the above work, or have the Development Team do it. However, the Product Owner remains accountable.

The Product Owner is one person, not a committee. The Product Owner may represent the desires of a committee in the Product Backlog, but those wanting to change a backlog item’s priority must convince the Product Owner.

For the Product Owner to succeed, the entire organization must respect his or her decisions. The Product Owner’s decisions are visible in the content and ordering of the Product Backlog. No
one is allowed to tell the Development Team to work from a different set of requirements, and the Development Team isn’t allowed to act on what anyone else says.

Adam Cogan, Chief Architect at SSW and Certified Scrum Trainer, has more tips on his blog:

What does a good Product Owner need to do?

  1. Be available for Sprint ReviewsRetrospectives and Sprint Planning meetings (approximately half a day for these 3 meetings, for each 2 week sprint).
  2. Order the Product Backlog. The important things will be done first, in order to maximize the ROI as the budget will run out one day.
  3. Be available, at least remotely, to unblock a developer if he has questions/impediments. A good PO has a feeling of urgency.
  4. Ideally listen in on Daily Scrums. This is optional but means that the PO will have daily insight into the team’s progress.
  5. Understand Product Backlog Items (PBIs) and be able to explain what they want using Acceptance Criteria. This is the main way that developers and POs sync their understanding of what needs to be done.
  6. Agree on a Sprint Goal for each sprint.
  7. Not influence (or anchor) developer estimates with comments like “this one will be easy” and allow the team to come up with converged estimates.
  8. Respect the Sprint Goal. Understand that the team will only work on things in the Sprint Backlog and don’t expect other things to be done as well. Most things can wait for the next sprint.

Rest of Adam’s post

Take the Quiz!

[WATUPRO 3]

About the speakers

About the speakers

Mr Product Owner

Hello! I'm the Product Owner, It's nice to be featured here on SSW TV :)

If you want to know more about what it takes to be a good Product Owner, check out SSW's 'Rules to Better Product Owners'.

Related videos

Related videos

SSW Hangzhou – New Office

Welcome to SSW Hangzhou! Our SSW China Marketing Manager Yang Shen gives us a walk-through showcasing the latest features and renovations made to our China office.

The dangers of your strong suits

“When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

This saying is often used for developers who want to use their favourite technology to solve every coding issue, even when it’s not the best fit. But this saying is actually relevant to us all.

Flexing Your Biceps with Azure – Making laC easy and fun with William Liebenberg

No matter how hard we try, Azure Resource Manager (ARM) JSON templates aren’t easy or fun to maintain for enterprise platforms and applications.
Now we can flex our Infrastructure as Code (IaC) muscles using a new tool called Azure Bicep.

Tech News #18: New tool to migrate from ASP.NET to ASP.NET Core & GitHub Pages made easier

Visual Studio releases a new tool to migrate from ASP.NET to ASP.NET Core, GitHub Pages made easier with new deeply with GitHub actions and you too can win big with this year’s MAUI Beautiful UI Challenge.

Do you have a product roadmap?

A product backlog is a great way to see the fairly small broken up PBIs (Product Backlog Items) that make up your team’s “to do” list, but it can be a bit too zoomed in and makes it easy to stray from the product goals.

MAUI – Do you build cross-platform mobile apps with .NET MAUI ? (for iOS and Android)

If you’re building installable binary apps (as opposed to web apps), it makes sense to use a cross-platform framework so that you don’t need to maintain multiple code bases.

Build Multi-Platform Applications for Mobile, Desktop and Web in .NET with the Uno Platform with Nick Randolph

The ability to deploy the same UI codebase across all platforms is a great productivity booster. But the application lifecycle starts much earlier – at design time. Uno Platform provides a Figma plugin, which eliminates the timely designer-developer handoff. In addition, the platform now provides a set of non-UI extensions to help jump-start your apps. Lastly, the VS Code extensions allows C# and XAML to use VS Code with IntelliSense-like experience, C# and XAML Hot Reload, and more.

Do You Know When To Ask For Help?

When you’re working, you will encounter issues that block you from progressing, and force you to do some googling, and investigation on how to move forward. These moments can be stressful, especially for junior developers and the question arises, “When should I ask for help?”

Do you explain a problem by zooming in and out with Luke Cook

Explaining problems can be really hard. Often, when you are trying to talk with someone about it, they get lost and frustrated because they don’t fully understand the context.

Tech News #17: Someone Tagged 400k GitHub Users, Building a Microsoft Teams Bot, and more

The new and improved SSW Rewards App has launched, Team Live Share is a new upcoming feature, Microsoft Power Pages has shipped, and plenty more!