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International Scrum Master Foundation

Steen Lerche-Jensen

4.1 Product Owner

The product owner represents the interests of the stakeholder community towards the development team. The product owner is responsible for ensuring clear communication of product or service functionality requirements to the development team, defining acceptance criteria, and ensuring those criteria are met. In other words, the product owner is responsible for ensuring that the development team delivers value.

The product owner must always maintain a dual view. He or she must understand and support the needs and interests of all stakeholders, while also understanding the needs and workings of the development team. Because the product owner must understand the needs and priorities of the stakeholders, including customers and users, this role is commonly referred to as the voice of the customer.

The responsibilities of the product owner in various scrum processes:


Product Owner Responsibilities

Product Vision Creation

Defines the Product Vision

Identification of People Requirements

■  Helps organize Development Teams for the project

■  Identifies the Stakeholder(s) and Scrum Master(s)

Formation of Development Team

■  Helps select development team members

■  Helps develop a collaboration plan

■  Helps develop the team building plan with scrum master(s)

Development of Epic(s)

Creates Epic(s) and Personas

Creation of Prioritized Product Backlog

■  Prioritizes Prioritized Product Backlog Items

■  Defines Done Criteria

Conducting Release Planning

■  Creates Release Planning Schedule

■  Helps determine Length of Sprint

Creation of User Stories

■  Helps create User Stories

■  Defines Acceptance Criteria for every User Story

Approval, Estimation and Commitment to User Stories

■  Approves User Stories

■  Facilitates Development Team and commits User Stories

Creation of Tasks

Explains User Stories to the Development Team while creating the Task List

Estimation of Tasks

Provides guidance and clarification to the Development Team in estimating effort for Tasks

Creation of Sprint Backlog

Clarifies requirements to the Development Team while creating the Sprint Backlog

Creation of Deliverables

Clarifies business requirements to the Development Team

Refining of Prioritized Product Backlog

Refines the Prioritized Product Backlog

Presentation and Validation of Sprint

■  Accepts/Rejects Deliverables

■  Provides necessary feedback to Scrum Master and Development Teams

■  Updates Release Plan and Prioritized Product Backlog

Shipment of Deliverables

Helps deploy Product Releases and coordinates this with the Customer

Project Retrospection

Participates in Retrospect Sprint Meetings


Other responsibilities of a Product Owner include:

  • Determining the project's initial overall requirements and kicking off project activities, this may involve interaction with the Program Product Owner and the Portfolio Product Owner to ensure that the project aligns with direction provided by senior management.
  • Representing user(s) of the product or service with a thorough understanding of the user community.
  • Securing the initial and ongoing financial resources for the project.
  • Focusing on value creation and overall Return on Investment (ROI).
  • Assessing the viability and ensuring the delivery of the product or service.

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