Responsibilities and skills of the Product Owner role in Scrum

What are the most important responsibilities of the Product Owner role Simply put, the Product Owner role answers the WHAT question.

The Product Owner decides what work the Development Team will have to do. He has to have lunch and demonstrate to the team that the way he has prioritized is the best way to realize a product.

The Product Owner role is responsible for turning team productivity into customer value. Reference: “What are the responsibilities of the Product Owner role?”,

Also, the Product Owner is responsible for the effective management of product development by:

  • Creates clear wording for Product Goal.
  • It maintains close contact with all stakeholders and at the same time is always available to the team. They use half of their time to get feedback from stakeholders and the other half with the team, creating a Backlog list (showing them what the client values ​​and what the team does not value). – create User Stories.
  • Creates clear links between Backlog elements and prioritizes them
    Ensures that the backlog is transparent, visible, and understandable.

Scrum was created to allow the Product Owner role to make quick, real-time customer decisions. The Product Owner role is in a position to constantly adjust the strategy to achieve faster success. To fulfill its responsibilities, the entire organization must respect its decisions. Reference: “What are the responsibilities of the Product Owner role in Scrum?”,

Is the Product Owner the role of Scrum team leader?

There is no manager in Scrum. There are roles in Scrum. In the context of the traditional business hierarchy – The manager is associated with authority and subordination. But Scrum needs someone who:

  • When prioritizing the Backlog, the team should trust it
  • Be able to put yourself in the image of the one who gets the value based on what the team does
  • Understand the work process and what can be done by the team, and especially what they cannot do.
  • To be empowered to make decisions and be responsible for the result, but to allow the team how to do their job.
  • Always be available to the team to explain what needs to be done and why.
  • The team relies on someone to take care of the product’s vision and what is important in terms of market intelligence.
  • Is responsible for the value

Meeting all of these criteria is the Product Owner’s role.

The Product Owner role takes care of the business value of the project

What does the value of the work done mean? Value for consumers can be convenience, usefulness, good.

In a business context, what matters is revenue. We measure the performance of the Product Owner role by how much revenue they deliver at the expense of the team’s efforts over time. The measurement can be and the team is relatively successful. Reference: “Responsibilities of the Product Owner – Questions and answers“,

The key is to decide how the value will be measured and to hold the Product Owner responsible for delivering more value. Reference: “A Management Educational Library”

What is User Story?

People think in stories or the so-called history. The Scrum team needs tasks to perform, but to be as clear as possible about them and motivated enough to give the maximum of their capabilities, the tasks must be presented as a character or role. And they turn into stories that answer the following questions:

Who is this task for?

  • What we want to be done in the first place. Where we start and where we stop
  • Why does this character or role want this to be created? How will this serve and satisfy the specific customer?
  • A key question is why does the customer want this functionality? What need will it serve?
  • The team needs to understand what the client wants to do and from this position start thinking about all possible ways to do it. You need to define the character or the role – what they like, dislike, passions, enthusiasm, frustrations, and joys. What is the client for whom you will create a product?

Read more: “What makes a good Product Owner and what do they do?“,

Stories should be written short enough to be evaluated by the team.
It is important to note that they should describe actions to be taken, but without having to perform them. The team has full autonomy over the ways of work that it will choose to achieve the desired business value.
Sometimes there are many great stories and they are called Epic stories. They contain much smaller stories that add to the main idea.
When writing stories and determining a list of things to do, it is important to answer 2 questions:

Is this story ready (complete)?
How do we confirm that the story is over?
Here comes the aid of the so-called INVEST Criteria created by Bill Wake.
Independent – to be independent and not related to other stories
Negotiable – to be able to be changed
Valuable – to deliver value to the customer
Estimable – to be sized
Small – to be short
Testable – to be tested
For each story, a “Readiness Definition” must be written, ie whether it covers the INVEST Criteria described above, as well as a “Ready Definition”. Reference:

An important feature in creating user stories is speed. Ie to answer the question – When will all the things necessary to complete this story be done? – they must be performed within the Sprint.

Certification and learning

Product Owner certification can be found on the BVOP website. This is a modern program that, in addition to their classic scrum, also teaches project and product management.

You can learn more about the program in the PM.MBA article on product owner certification.

In Europe, Advanced Owner courses are offered by “Project Management Academy Ltd”. Learn more here.

Why may User Story not mean a task that team members work on?

User Stories is defined from the end user’s point of view.

There is a standard for creating User Stories:
As a (role), I need (capability), so that (receive the benefit).
(role) – The role is “who” needs something.
(capability) – the exact need
(receive the benefit) a positive result for the one who requires something (the user).

This way of defining user Stories gives developers an idea of ​​what they need to develop and why.

Sometimes it makes sense for a User Story to be broken down into individual tasks that need to be completed. The tasks are written by the team for the team and use a language that the team will understand.

Tasks do not have independent functionality and are usually part of a larger story.

With the definitions of User Stories and tasks, it is clear that stories help to define specific characteristics of the final product from the user’s point of view.

But if the story contains a lot of information, ie a lot of activities that need to be broken down further, then tasks are used. Tasks may not be a lot of information from the user’s point of view, but they certainly help ensure that the developer has a well-defined activity on his desk.

Which possible start-up activity can be performed by the Product Owner role and stakeholders and why?

Establishing the Product Vision by the Product Owner and Stakeholders.

The product vision serves as a basis for creating ideas, concepts, prototypes for the project, as well as its actual production.

The Product Owner role is the only person in Scrum who is responsible for the success of the product. Therefore, the Product Owner creates, manages, and owns the vision of the product.

The vision of the product describes the purpose of a product, the intention with which the product is created, and what it aims to achieve for customers and consumers.

The vision of the product describes the future state of the product and what problems it is trying to solve or what ambitions it is trying to fulfill.

Having a clear and inspiring vision for the product helps motivate and inspire people, such as the Scrum team, stakeholders and customers, and consumers. It also provides a common understanding of the direction we want to go. In addition, the product’s vision also helps the Product Owner choose what to build and what not to build for the Product.

What are the responsibilities of the Scrum Product Manager role?

There is no such role in Scrum. But sometimes the Product Owner role is required to have qualities characteristic of a project manager such as – knowledge of products, marketing, sales, market and its features, competition, trends, and more.

What are the important knowledge and qualities of the Product Owner role?

What should be the knowledge of the Product Owner role?

Understand the work process and what can be done by the team, and especially what they cannot do.
To be empowered to make decisions and be responsible for the result, but to allow the team how to do their job.
Always be available to the team to explain what needs to be done and why. The team relies on someone to take care of the product’s vision and what is important in terms of market intelligence.
is responsible for the value

What are the qualities of the Product Owner role?

To be communicative
An amazing storyteller
To be able to solve problems
To be able to listen effectively
To be able to understand the client’s expectations
To be able to work at different levels – strategic, tactical, operational level
To be able to say NO

What is the difference between the value for consumers of a product and the value of the product from the point of view of its owners?

Value for consumers can be expressed in solving a problem, obtaining convenience and usefulness, providing social welfare.
The value for the owners is measured in income and profit, benefit – economic, marketing, etc.
How often should the Product Owner role guide the Development team on how they should do their job?

The Product Owner role defines WHAT the team needs to do.

The Scrum Team makes completely autonomous decisions about HOW to do a job. In answer to the question HOW SCRUM MASTER helps them.

What is tasks prioritization?

Prioritization is about the team knowing what to do and WHEN.
An interesting diagram that helps the Product Owner’s role to build the product vision and helps to prioritize is the so-called. VENN Diagram:

The Product Owner role must balance between multiple product attributes represented as interacting circles:
What can we create?
What can we sell?
What can you be passionate about (passion)?

If the company focuses only on what it can produce, it can provide a product that is not needed on the market at all and no one wants, even if the team is very passionate and inspired by the product.
If he concentrates on sales, he can promise a product he can’t produce.
If it produces only what can be sold, but without being passionate about it, it can end up presenting a mediocre product.

But in the area of ​​overlap between the circles in the middle is the real vision of the product – to be something great.
The prioritization of the Backlog is based on “value” and should be updated frequently, based on many factors.

Why should the Product Owner role prioritize work?

The Product Owner role is responsible for the Product Backlog, arranging and prioritizing the list and its content so that it is clear, specific, detailed, and understandable to the team.

Why can stakeholders stop working on a product when, in terms of planned work, the product is not ready yet?

Due to economic reasons or the emergence of drastic changes in the market, new legal requirements require the termination of the project. The suspension can also be based on the stage reached in the condition of the product, which is sufficiently satisfactory for the owners.

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