Product Owner (PO)

product owner
product owner

Let see what is really a product owner in the scrum team. This role is complicated to apply in some organizations. The acronym PO is very used to talk about this role.

In a scrum team, we have 3 different roles :

  • product owner
  • scrum master
  • development team (represented by several peoples)

Responsible for maximizing the value of the product

Indeed, the PO is responsible for maximizing the value of the product like the Scrum Guide describe it. He will work with the organization and the development team to offer a quality product. This role is essential in a scrum team.

Product Owner, sole responsible of the product backlog

A PO will have to manage the product backlog and do these actions on it:

  • purpose clearly items in the backlog
  • prioritize the product backlog to achieve the goals and the missions
  • optimize the value of the product resulting from the development team
  • have a transparancy with the product backlog, its items and the next items envisaged in the next sprints.
  • assure the development team to well understand the items

If needed, he can ask for help from the scrum master in theses tasks. All theses tasks aren’t simple to apply at the beginning of the product creation.

Delegation of tasks

He has the right to delegate some of his tasks at the development team (for example: proxy PO, business analyst, developper…) but will rest the responsible of results.

He has to understand the work that it is realized in the product backlog so that he masters its content in whole. And sometime, he will have to acquire some skills.

Only one product owner

In a scrum team, there is just one PO; And this product owner have to be one person and not committee or a group of people. He has the right to delegate some of his tasks but it’s impossible to have 2 product owners.

So, it’s not forbidden in a scrum team to have a proxy product owner; But the PO rest the responsible of the product backlog.

Interaction with other people (no included in the scrum team)

The product owner can be helped by a committee to define the value of each item of the product backlog or to define the priority of them; But, he has the final decision.

It’s really important that the product owner is free to define the priorities of his product backlog.

Useful links on the product owner

Urban legends on the PO
Proxy PO
(FR) Qu’est-ce qu’un PO

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