Complex software projects have no shortage of moving pieces, making the Agile methodology a logical approach to keep everyone heading in the right direction. Though there are several roles on a scrum team, there is only one that provides the “single source of truth.” Within the Scrum framework, the scrum product owner is THE key stakeholder of a project. But what does this really mean? And most importantly, what makes a great product owner?
Scrum Product Owner Responsibilities
Share the vision:
Demonstrate a deep understanding of user and marketplace needs, and convey this clearly to the development team and all stakeholders. The scrum product owner is responsible for setting a clear vision for the product.
Set actionable goals and make sure that the entire scrum team understands the development roadmap.
Manage the backlog:
Constantly update the remaining work the development team needs to complete and prioritize their tasks according to the most important requirements.
Be an authoritative voice during the sprint and daily scrums. The scrum product owner is responsible for changing or canceling the sprint, so they must maintain close communication with the development team and share progress with stakeholders.
Create a clear financial forecast and assess the development of the product in relation to it.
Ensure that the product is high value, delivered on-time and within budget.
Characteristics of a Great Product Owner
Makes important and influential decisions where necessary. Being decisive is important, as is the ability to prioritize, make crucial decisions about features, and change the course of a sprint when required.
Provides insight into user requirements by understanding the marketplace. He or she is the ambassador of the present and future needs of the business. A wealth of knowledge of the relevant sector is advantageous in setting goals and helping the development team achieve them.
Draws together the development team and bridges the gap between the sprint and stakeholders. A great scrum product owner is the collaborative hub of the sprint and engaged with everyone involved.
An excellent communicator that’s able to forge strong relationships and motivate the team to their highest level of performance.
Being a scrum product owner isn’t easy. Agile coaching can be a great professional development tool that helps you continually improve scrum implementation and management. If you’d like to learn more about Agile coaching, contact us to speak with one of our experts.