What is a Scrum Product Owner?

The best way to look at a Product Owner is to consider them as a ‘Value Maximizer’ meaning that they look at their team, its value and determine what is the best way to maximise the value so that they can get the most out of it. A Product Owner is therefore primarily responsible for a project’s outcome and therefore strives to maximise a product’s value by managing and optimising the Product Backlog.

A great deal of autonomy, accountability and responsibility rests on the Product Owner, and can sometimes be quite consuming. Which is why they are typically people who have a large amount of experience working in Scrum and Agile software development, as well as an informed understanding as to what works and what doesn’t. 

How Do Product Owners Maximise Product Value? 

As we know, it is the Scrum Master who supports and facilitates the Scrum Framework and Scrum Team, but that still does not guarantee that the product will be successful. It is thus the Product Owners duty to maximise the value of the product. 

A Product Owner Can Maximise the Product Value by: 

Providing Direction 

A good Product Owner will have an understanding of the problems that potential customers are trying to solve and what is needed to provide those solutions. This is demonstrated and defined in the Product Goal and Product Vision.

Creating One Usable Increment Per Sprint

Once we have a Product Goal, we work to achieve this within Sprints. It has been found that when we only create designs in a Sprint, it is often a waste and it is therefore more valuable to have at least one usable Increment per Sprint, that can be evaluated, and provide insights to stimulate collaboration in a team. 

Frequently Collecting Info from Productive Usage 

Product Owners are also responsible for making release decisions. And since frequent releases have been found to have a competitive advantage, it is recommended that Product Owners release as frequently as it is feasible and purposeful for the team and organisation as a whole. Lastly, frequent Increment releases in the Sprint can provide useful insights and inform feedback that could enhance Product Quality and better satisfy the needs of the customers. 

Applying What Was Learned

In order to get the maximum value, a Product Owner should incorporate feedback, insights, and facts into the Product Backlog as soon as possible. A clear understanding and ability to refine the Product Vision and Product Goal according to feedback and insights in the most time-effective manner is paramount. 
Maintaining Respect Among the Entire Organisation 

Lastly, since the Product Owner has a high-degree of authority in the team, there needs to be a great deal of trust and respect towards the person that occupies this role. If a Product Owner’s decisions are overruled by a Stakeholder this can cause a wide array of disruptions to a team such as Product Owners not living up their responsibilities, poor decision making, and frustration in the Scrum which could hinder progress. For this reason it is important that Product Owners are respected and trusted within the organisation, and that this trust and respect is rightfully earned. 

Why a Team Needs a Great Product Owner 

Without a great Product Owner, a team and product risks defeat as it would be very difficult to develop a high-quality product without direction or supervision. Product Owners are an integral part of the success of the entire Scrum Team and Product Development. Without them we are lost. 

Interested to learn more about what it takes to be a great Product Owner? 

Get in touch today and let’s work together on your journey to success! 

Pragmatic Shift is a Scrum Training, Agile Consulting, and Agile Coaching consultancy that specialises in delivering Scrum.Org certified scrum courses, and helping organisations increase their business agility and product development success through agile consulting and coaching.

We firmly believe that a shift to agile is a pragmatic shift. A natural evolution from traditional project management and product management. A proven, reliable, and resilient framework for addressing compelling problems and developing complex solutions.

Over a decade’s worth of experience as an agile practitioner, agile consultant, agile coach, and scrum trainer informs our pragmatic approach to change. Agile dogma has no value in the context of product development or organisational change.

Instead, we look to start where you are, work with what you have, and make meaningful interventions that align with the objectives you are trying to achieve.

Progress over perfection.

If this sounds like a pragmatic solution to you, visit the following pages for more information.

Scrum Training: https://pragmaticshift.com/training/

Agile Consulting: Coming Soon!

Agile Coaching: https://www.thescrumcoach.uk

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