24 June 2024

The Scrum framework : Product Owner accountability

The Scrum framework consists of Scrum Teams and their associated accountabilities, artifacts, events and rules as defined in the Scrum Guide.

The 3 Scrum Team Accountabilities

In a nutshell, Product Owners are entrepreneurs

  • They drive and deliver the vision.
    • They don’t need to know how the product is being developed necessarily.
    • And yet, they’re the bridge between engineering teams and business stakeholders.
  • The Product Owner is a central role within the Scrum framework.
    • That role unifies product and project management tasks, and it’s also firmly integrated with software development and delivery.
    • The Product Owner‘s role is far broader than traditional project management, program management, or product management roles.
    • The Product Owner represents the end customers and/or other stakeholders and is responsible for maximizing the value of the product by ensuring that the Scrum Team delivers the right work at the right time.
      • The Product Owner decides the software requirements provided for a specific software version, and when the software will be released.
      • The Product Owner represents functional and non-functional demands from end-users.
      • That means that the Product Owner has to work very closely with the Scrum Team and coordinates their activities over the entire lifecycle of the project.
      • No one else is allowed to impose the Scrum Team to work for a different set of priorities.
  • The Product Owner can delegate certain activities (like physically maintaining the Product Backlog).
    • However, he or she still owns the accountability of his or her tasks.

Product Owner Essential tasks

  • To manage and clarify project requirements,
  • To guide releases and to ensure return on investment (ROI),
  • To closely work with the Scrum Team and enable it to deliver the correct work on time,
  • To manage stakeholders and their expectations,
  • To manage the Product Backlog.

Product Owner is responsible for strategic and tactical product decisions

  • Develop the Product Strategy
  • Manage the Product Roadmap
  • Carry out all tactical duties, such as managing the Product Backlog
  • Manage the Stakeholders
  • Create a financial forecast and tracks product performance

Product Backlog Management

  • Product Owner is the only person allowed to own the contents of the Product Backlog.
    • That means he or she needs to :
      • Create, maintain and clearly describe Product Backlog Items (like user stories) in the Product Backlog,
      • Prioritize Product Backlog Items (or user stories) to accomplish business goals and fulfill the mission of software product,
      • Ensure that the Scrum Team correctly comprehends and implements the Product Backlog Items (or user stories) in the Product Backlog.

Release Management

  • The Product Owner is responsible for reaching the project goals.
    • The Product Owner creates and maintains the release plan and decides about deliveries, end-user functions, and the order they need to be delivered.
    • The Product Owner often manage the costs and budget of Scrum Teams too.
    • They collaborate with the Scrum Team members to fine-tune, prioritize, and estimate Product backlog Items (or user stories).

Stakeholder Management

  • External stakeholders should not directly bring their demands to the Scrum Team members.
    • Instead, the Product Owner should collect and assess required functionalities with the stakeholders (for instance, with internal clients, representatives of external clients or end-users).
    • The Product Owner combines, filters and initially prioritizes these Product backlog Items (or user stories) before he or she discusses them with the Scrum Team.

Product Owner collaboration With The Scrum Team

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