Product Owner - what is his role in the Scrum team
First, what is Scrum. This is an approach to project management that appeared in the mid-90s. It focuses on flexibility and communication within the team, a clear definition of roles, a focus on priority tasks that need to be completed in a short period of time - a sprint (from one to four weeks).
The Product Owner leads the way in what exactly to do, what goals the team has in each sprint. He understands how to balance tasks in order to achieve business goals, improve conversions and customer experience, but also not forget about technical debt, infrastructure and SEO tasks.
In small teams where there is no Scrum Master, the Product Owner is responsible for stand-ups and daily syncs. In these 15-20 minute meetings, each team member talks about what has been and will be done. This allows you to see progress, as well as difficulties and difficulties in achieving goals.
He is also responsible for grooming (initial assessment) and task planning before the start of the sprint. If the company has several teams whose activities determine the development of the product, then the Product Owner is also responsible for communications with other teams. This is usually done before quarterly planning, especially when using SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), when all teams work using Agile principles, but have dependencies among themselves, when your product depends on making changes to a microservice or code owned by another team .
Qualities of a Product Owner
The Product Owner is responsible for ensuring that the revenue growth rate outpaces the cost growth rate of the product he manages, so the responsibilities of this position include generation of hypotheses to improve the user experience, research, search for insights, analysis and control of metrics, as well as full management of sprints to accomplish the highest priority tasks.
The qualities that help a Product Owner develop a product include communication skills, the ability to play the long game and predict, as well as stress resistance. A Product Owner must be able to communicate with top managers, managers, developers of his own and other teams, system and product analysts, marketers, HR.
The ability to find compromises, to convince, to promote the interests of the product team are very important qualities. Why is this needed? In order to receive resources and the necessary solutions for product development. Look, you analyze metrics, communicate with users, do surveys, castdevs on an ongoing basis, conduct UX tests. But then, in order to get the right solution, it is necessary to package it and convey it to the management. This often takes 20-25% of the work.
For example, to increase conversions on a site, you can use Social Proof mechanics - this is obvious, but part of the team or management may say that this will not work, and you know that four out of 25 mechanics have already shown effectiveness in another project.
Or, for example, you see that you have five priority epics (large tasks), and there are enough developer resources for three. It is necessary to make a choice, predicting quick or long-term results, to perform these tasks sequentially or in parallel.
These include openness, curiosity (by the way, this is an important quality according to the CEO of Microsoft) and persistence (an important quality, according to the founder of Amazon). If you are open to new things, then you will easily make changes, and product development is constant change.
Curiosity helps to find new insights, to see analogies in other products in order to implement new functions in your own, and allows you to think about experiments easily and confidently. Without perseverance, it is difficult to drag out a sprint; achieve the goals of this sprint. Sprints are made up of months, quarters, and a year.
This also applies to the constant search for growth points, despite the possible lack of progress.
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