The Product Owner represents the product’s stakeholders and the voice of the customer; and is accountable for ensuring that the team delivers value to the business. The Product Owner writes customer-centric items (typically user stories), ranks and prioritizes them, and adds them to the Product Backlog. Scrum Teams should have one Product Owner. This role should not be combined with that of the Scrum Master. The Product Owner should focus on the business side of product development and spend the majority of their time liaising with stakeholders and should not dictate how the team reaches a technical solution.This role is equivalent to the customer representative role in some other agile frameworks such as extreme programming (XP).
As the face of the team to the stakeholders, the following are some of the communication tasks of the Product Owner to the stakeholders:
- demonstrates the solution to key stakeholders who were not present at a Sprint Review;
- defines and announces releases;
- communicates team status;
- organizes milestone reviews;
- educates stakeholders in the development process;
- negotiates priorities, scope, funding, and schedule;
- ensures that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear.
Empathy is a key attribute for a Product Owner to have—the ability to put one’s self in another’s shoes. A Product Owner converses with different stakeholders, who have a variety of backgrounds, job roles, and objectives. A Product Owner must be able to see from these different points of view. To be effective, it is wise for a Product Owner to know the level of detail the audience needs. The Development Team needs thorough feedback and specifications so they can build a product up to expectation, while an executive sponsor may just need summaries of progress. Providing more information than necessary may lose stakeholder interest and waste time. A direct means of communication is the most preferred by seasoned agile Product Owners.
A Product Owner’s ability to communicate effectively is also enhanced by being skilled in techniques that identify stakeholder needs, negotiate priorities between stakeholder interests, and collaborate with developers to ensure effective implementation of requirements.
|Certification Title:||Scrum Product Owner Accredited Certification|
|Certification Body:||International Scrum Institute™|