Agile methodologies have revolutionized the software development process. Thanks to them, the software is created faster and better meets the users' needs. One of the agile methodologies is Scrum, where the Product Owner plays a crucial role. What are his duties?
What is Scrum?
Scrum belongs to the agile methodology and was formulated in 1993 by Jeff Sutherland. Since that time, it has become a very popular method of managing software development. Scrum promotes the team’s productivity and allows for providing more refined solutions.
The basic features of Scrum are:
- No division into analysts, testers, and programmers. Each of the specialists responsible for software development should have interdisciplinary competencies and is called a developer. Together, they make up the Scrum Team.
- Other roles in the process are Scrum Master, who oversees the processes (but does not set a vision and is not a project manager) Product Manager, responsible for long-term strategy, and Product Owner (we will discuss his role in the next section).
- Scrum is based on iterations called sprints. They have a strictly set time (in most cases, from 2 to 4 weeks) and goals to be achieved. During sprints, their assumptions are not modified. Deadlines must be always adhered and iteration completion dates cannot be changed. As a result, greater productivity is achieved.
- During the sprints, obligatory daily meetings are held (Scrum Meetings), during which the progress of work is discussed and tasks are assigned.
- The effects of the work done during the sprints are tested and evaluated after their completion. The Product Owner takes part in the evaluation and assesses whether the intended goals have been achieved during the iteration and whether new goals can be set or iteration should be repeated.
Product Owner and his responsibilities
The goal of the Product Owner is to maximize the value of the created product. To reach this goal, he works closely with Scrum Team, and Scrum Master and the Product Owner is the leading person of the team.
The Product Owner’s responsibilities include:
- Defining product features and goals
The Product Owner works closely with the Product Manager. The Product Manager creates the product vision and long-term strategy. He identifies market trends and is involved in product marketing. PM also supports the development team and creates realistic sprint schedules.
The Product Owner’s task is to translate the vision and strategy defined by the Product Manager into specific product features. He also has to understand the market realities and business factors that determine the need to create proper functionalities.
PO creates a development roadmap, setting the most important goals to be achieved. It is a schedule of activities, thanks to which the team and the client know how the project will be implemented and how it will evolve.
- Providing feedback from the client and end users
It is also essential to define the project’s goals so that the PO collects feedback from end users, e.g. through interviews. He can get to know their needs and thus better define how software’s functionalities should look like.
After the iterations, the PO also presents the product to the client to get to know his opinions. That’s why it is known whether the development aims to satisfy the client and fulfill his vision. This reduces the risk that he will be dissatisfied with the software after the completion of the work.
- Managing the Backlog
The Backlog contains a list of actions to be performed. Its basic elements are User Stories, which are a functionalities’ description from the perspective of the user’s needs (they have the form like “I want the application to enable me to do this”). Based on user stories, the features to be created are determined. The Backlog also includes a list of bugs to fix, technical debt, and knowledge acquisition.
As part of Backlog management, the Product Owner must update it actively. He also prioritizes tasks to be performed based on their urgency and criticality. PO creates user stories too, as well as accepts them from other team members and edits accordingly.
- Participation in Scrum Meetings
The Product Owner must be up-to-date with the course of work. Therefore, he has to take part in daily Scrum Meetings where the progress of work is discussed and tasks to be performed are defined.
The PO’s duty is to answer developers’ questions regarding assigned tasks and user stories as soon as possible. Sprints are short (they usually last two weeks), so being in constant contact with the team is essential.
Hire Codepole’s Product Owners
The Product Owner is a key figure in the Scrum team. The success of the project depends to a large extent on his competence and experience. At Codepole, we are aware of this, and that’s why our POs are top-class specialists who have taken part in dozens of successful projects.
We offer you the opportunity to hire our specialists so that your Scrum process is run optimally. They will listen to your needs and requirements to translate them into a list of specific activities to be performed. Then they will oversee development so that it runs smoothly and is completed on schedule.
Contact us and let’s talk about your project!