When working in the Scrum team, there are different positions that have to be filled and each of which is assigned different responsibilities. One of them describes the des Product owner .

As manager of the product backlog, he leads the development team and is responsible for increasing the value of the product. In this article, I would like to describe in more detail what a product owner does in his daily work.

The Product Owner in the Scrum Team hierarchy

Within Scrum, the product owner can be found in the area of project and product management. Since the Scrum model is designed to break down large tasks into smaller sub-tasks and thus convert complex problems into more easily resolvable individual problems, the product owner’s task here is to closely monitor the development of the project. This means, for example, that you have to regularly optimize and adapt the long-term plan made in advance through many small and continuously running sprint goals. Although he is responsible for important decisions in the team, his position does not necessarily include all competencies and responsibilities. For example, it can still happen that the product owner makes an important change, but has to have it verified by other team members. In this way, Scrum ensures that general control over the project is improved.

The central tasks

Roughly speaking, the Product Owner in the Scrum Team takes on four central responsibilities:

  • maximizing product value
  • the leadership of the development team
  • the management of the product backlog
  • Assumption of all essential responsibilities

In order to be able to efficiently maximize the value of a product, the product owner must therefore regularly keep an eye on the development progress. In the context of Scrum, this means that he is not only responsible for monitoring, but also for achieving sprint goals. Since the team works together to achieve the desired product result, it is also their task to lead their team conscientiously and effectively. But that doesn’t just mean that he has to distribute tasks and responsibilities in a sensible way. Because it is also important that he ensures that all backlog entries made are visible and transparent. Only in this way can a value-added end product be created in harmony with the right communication. The product owner must also discuss the progress in regular consultations with management and stakeholders.

In addition, regular reviews clarify whether product backlog entries have been processed and whether the “Done” property can be assigned to them.

And it is precisely these product backlog entries that comprise an essential part of the work of the product owner. After all, he is responsible for the correct management of these. In the course of this he has to sort and prioritize the respective entries. With the responsibility for all essential responsibilities with regard to his position, he is also the only one able to make changes to the product backlog. For example, these can be decisions about whether to adjust a sprint goal or end it early.

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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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