Best Practices of a Good Product Owner

In a post for Scrum Inc., Christine Hegarty explains the importance of a good product owner.

“A good Product Owner will increase revenue by keeping the backlog ordered so that we are producing the higher value sooner,” she writes. “But just how they accomplish that isn’t always clear.”

Some of the key pitfalls?

Hegarty says it’s important for product owners to see a flow of value, customer collaboration, self-organized smaller and integrated teams, with value driven incrementally.

(See Product Owner Pitfalls)

“The cultural shift is one that moves us from crafting a fail-safe plan we want to execute and deliver at the end of a release, to a “safe to fail” framework where we learn and improve each iteration,” she writes.

Hegarty continues, saying the cultural shift involves a lot more people than just the team and product owner.

“The PO is key to the transition to Agile, but because it is a change of mindset for the whole organization, and a lot of players need to be involved from the beginning, roles not normally thought of as Scrum roles,” she writes.

Hegarty advises not to forget the cadre of supporting roles who need to be there as Servant Leaders to remove impediments, clear the path, and support the flow of value (the deliverables) to the customer.

(See Product Management Implementation: Creating True PM Function)

“For every decision you make, every day, ask yourselves “Is this the right thing to do for the customer?”,” she writes. “If the answer is “I don’t know”, take the decision to the Product Owner.”

For more on product owners, read Hegarty’s full post here.

Photo by: Jared Tarbell

Contributing Author

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