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Scrum – What are some of the important attributes of a successful Product Owner

When teams (or organizations) implement Scrum for the first time (or for the first few times), the changes required for Scrum involve some amount of re-thinking of their roles and responsibilities from the various stakeholders. Training can be conducted, but training can only do so much. Training can be an important pre-requisite for success, but ultimately, training is just one part of the overall picture; you need your various stakeholders to have some important attributes that are required for success. For the past several posts, I have been concentrating on some problems that can cause failures or inefficiencies in the Scrum project, and which are more problems in the Product Owner role. In this post, I will talk more about some of the important attributes of a Product Owner. It is utopia to think that a person can do all of these, but there are several of these properties that can be taken up with some success by the Product Owner:
– Ability to have a vision for the product, and convey this vision to the Scrum team
– Be able to take the various requirements for the Product, and map these to the vision that the Product Owner has. If a team sees contradiction between the vision and the requirements, they have doubts and confusion, and the Product owner should be able to convince the team even when there are some amount of contradictions.
– The Product Owner must take responsibility for the overall success and failure of the product, and hence, whatever output the Product team delivers
– Be able to priortize the various requirements of the Product, and keep this prioritized list updated so that the team has a good idea of what features are there for the current Sprint, as well as expectations of which features will be there for the next few Sprints (even though this priority can be changed depending on the overall environment)
– Be able to provide details to the Scrum team as when they have doubts, starting from the Sprint planning session, and during the Sprint when they have doubts..

In the next post, I will post more attributes that the Product Owner should have ..

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