How will you describe the role of a Product Owner? Are they visionaries holding a vision of what they wish to build for the project? Or simply a Problem Owner who have to grasp hold of problems in the project?
Here in Titansoft, our Product Owners convey their project vision by prioritizing the feature list for the product through the product backlog. The PO’s define a clear goal for our Scrum teams before they select the number of items they believe they can commit to in each sprint and motivate them towards that direction. However, is that all to the role of a PO ? Let’s find out from our PO s what their role really is!
Who Are We?
Simply knowing the requirements of the project is insufficient. Before the Product Backlog Refinement (PBR), the PO’s collect items from different stakeholders and hold a discussion to analyze the goals, outcomes and business value for each item. This not only helps to determine the value of the item for prioritization but also aids in constructing the story to present to teams. It is also described that the role of a PO as a storyteller where he uses user stories as a technique to let teams understand more about the project and raise queries.
Another point is that, the difference in roles was greater if one progressed from a Scrum team member to a PO. As a Scrum member, normally they tend to rely on the PO for decisions but as one progresses, it has been learned that negotiation and working closely with teams to reach a common decision plays an integral part. PO also has to judge when to step in when the team faces a problem or let them resolve the problem with their own methods.
The Obstacle in the Role
Communication is always an ongoing obstacle as it is how we convey our ideas and requirements. Adopting different communication styles is key to effectively establish an understanding across various teams. For the PO’s, making that judgment call is also not an easy feat. With practice and experience, we have confidence that our PO’s will make well-informed decisions to facilitate our Sprints!
Do YOU have what it takes?
As in any other role, it is good to have the passion and confidence especially when you want to convince others. They have to know how to strategically influence others, remain observant when interacting with different teams and be open-minded to team’s feedback. While our PO’s convey the project requirements for business value, they stay rooted to be mindful of the teams’ perspective.