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Scrum: The Product Owner’s Role

The “Product Owner” is one of the three Scrum roles. Product owners are crucial to the success of Scrum teams.
 
In Scrum, the product owner is the person who is responsible for a product’s success. The role of the product owner is to lead the development effort by conveying the vision to the team, outlining requirements in the product backlog, prioritizing requirements based on business value & risk, and providing continuous and real-time clarification on those requirements.
 
When a product owner effectively does these things, the business and development are aligned, the development team is shielded from distracting “noise,” and the team works on the right things at the right time.
 
One challenging part of this position is to not micro-manage. Like scrum masters, product owners also participate on the team as a servant leader and peer to the rest of the team. A product owner does not have authority over a development team, but typically represents stakeholders that carry a certain political “weight” in the organization. And since product owners ideally spend a lot of time with their teams to provide clarity and business value perspective, this can make servant leadership a hard task. A product owner must respect and trust the team’s ability to create and work a daily plan of action.
 
At the end of the day, the product owner’s responsibility is to consider which requirements will produce the most business value. The product owner must be able to make difficult decisions that others may not like, but it is the product owner’s responsibility to make sure to get the right product to the consumer.