Who should be called a Product Owner?
Basically any product owner is just the guy who is held responsible for means that are not less than the entire project success in Scrum. This job title may be scary the first time you are responsible for something as big as the entire product.
You will be held responsible for leading the Product backlog with every piece of your vision that has been or should be delivered to the team responsible for the development itself. Your vision and the tasks you are determining should also be prioritized according to the business value they are delivering. All this power is a hell lot of responsibility, right? Especially when you are wearing a Product Owner’s shoes for the very first time. Thus here are several practical tips you should consider before bursting into action:
- Be available. You will need to consider and to be a bridge between the team involved and the stakeholder and the process will not be moving nowhere without appropriate collaboration you should be providing. If there happens a question emerging you will have to be there with the answer.
- Don’t get all in micro-management. Surely this will be difficult to accomplish considering you are constantly available, meaning around involved people and secondly you have a responsibility in combination with authority. However one of Scrum’s major principles is self-organization and people working in your team should either be trusted or they have no right to work on your project at the first place. Please respect your team and their ability of certain plan creation in all required scenarios. You have to make sure they are aware what they should be doing and not controlling on how are they implementing tasks assigned to them into life.
- Do not give more work to your team while they are already in the sprint. No sprint ever can or should be updated or interrupted until the next sprint meeting despite the temptation you may be experiencing.
- Business value is something you should care most about and you are up with the decisions on which activities will be delivering more of such value. You will be involved in various tough calls and hard decisions. Decisions not everybody may be fond of. The team may be very negative on this or that decision you are making due multiple reasons (implementation difficulty mostly) however such decisions are a part of your day and you will be held responsible if the project you have worked so hard on fails. One thing is being responsible for a bad decision you have made however being charged with something that went down because you were talked out of your decision is extremely different and much more difficult to comprehend.
These 4 simple guidelines allow a better grasp on the project itself as well as they are guiding Product Owners in just the right direction so it is advised to follow them, especially at the very start of your career.