Preface: In the last 4 years, the Scrum Guide has had two very significant updates, including updates to the Product Owner role that have far reaching implications. In this article and the series that follows, I attempt to describe “The New New Product Owner” role in Scrum.
In a series of upcoming articles, I will detail the different focus areas that the modern Product Owner needs to concentrate on in order to fulfill their duties on a Scrum team.
The New New Product Owner understands that she will likely need to execute these activities at different times, and that she might need to delegate to others in order to effectively produce software that maximizes ROI for the software development effort.
The first and most important focus area is for the Product Owner to be the “Product Value Maximizer.” There are lots of way to do this, but 3 key steps are involved:
- Order the Product Backlog by (estimated) value.
- Work with the Development team to get small increments of value to market quickly, for feedback. Release to market = in production, available to end users.
- Rapidly assess value delivery feedback from the market, and then start over again at step #1.
These three steps will ensure that the New New Product Owner delivers “the right thing.”
Note that your market might be internal (IT software) or external (Saas, Consumer software). Either way, it’s important to get features into production quickly, and to assess whether we have “hit the target” with respect to value… or not. This quick release to production, every few weeks, is a key aspect of Agile software development.
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In future articles, I will detail the remaining six focus areas for the New New Product Owner:
- Product Marketplace Expert
- Product Visionary
- Product Release Decision Maker
- Product Backlog Management Leader
- Lead Facilitator of Key Stakeholder Involvement
- Effective and Active Scrum Team Collaborator