In the last article for the Thursday Management Series, we discussed what Scrum is all about and we also discussed in brief the three roles that are a part of a Scrum –
- Product Owner
- Development Team
- Scrum Master
Development Team, I guess, is self-explanatory and does not need any further explanation. This article will focus on the roles and responsibilities of a Product Owner followed by an article on the responsibilities of a Scrum Master coming up the next Thursday.
So, let us begin by understanding who a Product Owner is and the kind of role he plays in a Scrum.
- A Product Owner bridges the communication gap between the Stakeholders and the team.
- He is responsible for writing User Stories.
User Stories are short description of the requirements captured at a very high-level. It generally is a one or a two line description written in everyday language.
a) Display the country names in ascending order.
b) Search users by their first name.
c) Generate a report for the no. of visitors on the homepage per country.
- Once, he has a list of user stories, he prioritizes them and adds them to a Product Backlog.
A Product Backlog is an ordered list of requirements of items arranged as per the priority for a product. It consists of requirements, new features, bug fixes as well as the non-functional requirements. It contains all the items needed for successful delivery of a product in the sequence in which they will be delivered. The backlog can contain user stories, use cases, requirements or anything that needs to be included, to make the product viable.
- The product owner is always on the business side and does not interfere with the technical aspects of the product.
- He ensures that product backlog is clear and transparent to both stakeholders and the team.
- He negotiates priorities, scope, funding and schedule of the project with the stakeholders.
- He collaborates with developers to ensure effective and timely delivery of requirements.
- He is responsible for communicating development status to the stakeholders.
- He defines and announces releases.
- A product owner should be able to communicate effectively as he plays a major role in talking with different kinds of people in different roles and from varied backgrounds.
As you can see, a Product Owner represents the stakeholders but also is the voice of a customer and makes sure that the team delivers value to the business.