A Scrum Product Owner is a person responsible for the success or failure of the product and is liable for the Return on Investment (ROI) of the project. He should possess foresight and should steer the team towards the path of success diligently. He should be influential in presenting his visions and views with the team and also be adept in prioritizing the product backlog. Given below are a few qualities expected of a Scrum product owner to make a product successful.
1. Takes the responsibility of making a successful product:
The product owner should be able to take complete responsibility for the product delivery. The product owner should be capable of taking hard decisions that can make or break a project. He should interact with the team regularly, keeping them motivated and must be a person who could reply to emails and queries at the earliest.
2. Promulgates the vision to the team:
Sprint meetings are important as it keeps track of work that has been completed and the work that needs to be done in the following sprint. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the progress and also the improvements that can be made. The Product owner is also responsible for organizing and attending the sprint meetings. He must be able to direct the team members towards the current and long-term goal at the beginning of every sprint meeting. This will make sure that the team members don’t go off track and get a clear idea of their progress towards the success of the project.
3. Frames and prioritizes the product backlog:
The product owner is responsible for creating and maintaining the product backlog that contains the list of items to be done within the project. He should also prioritize the product backlog based on the user stories and present it before every sprint meeting.
4. Holds effective daily meetings:
The product owner should conduct daily meetings that are short and brief . The meetings will have on its agenda the work and progress made the previous day, what is going to be done today and what needs to be done tomorrow. These three questions are posed so that the team members don’t get deviated from the plan.
5. Liaises with the customer and the stakeholder:
The product owner must consistently engage the customer and the stakeholder, providing assurance that the right product is being built and that the project is veering towards success. He also should ensure them about the high Return on Investment that could be obtained from the project.
6. Liaises with the outside world:
The product owner acts as a communication link between the team and the external world and should thus possess strong communication skills in order to convey the information effectively. He should be open to all communication channels and should help promote the product and gain support from the outside world so as to lift the spirit of the team.
7. Alters the sprint if required:
A sprint duration once fixed will always be the same for the following sprints. But the product owner has the complete authority to change the course of the sprint for the betterment of the project.
8. Terminates a sprint when a complete changeover is demanded:
The product owner can terminate the sprint if a complete change in direction is required. For instance, if the rival company produces a new version of their product, it may call for a counter response. In such a case, serious changes might be required to be made by the product owner that can even lead to the termination of the sprint.
Thus the role of the product owner is crucial and arduous. He should always be there for the team, providing them with constant backing and support to keep them motivated.
His one decision could take the product to the next level or bring the entire project down. He is solely responsible for the success and failure of the product and in some cases, the success and the failure of the company too. He is irreplaceable and thus, utmost care should be taken while selecting the product owner.
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