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Just how busy is a Scrum Product Owner?

When it comes to mobile product development, one of the most important aspects is to make sure that the new app fits the market. That is why focusing on delivering what users want and need becomes mandatory and requires attention and preparation especially from the side of the Product Owner. The biggest mistake that the PO can make is to build a product that nobody wants. To avoid this, the Product Owners must put all their efforts and actively contribute in the product development process. This translates into an overcrowded agenda, many sleepless nights and probably some tons of coffee. Here is a glimpse at some of the things that a good Scrum Product Owner has in his calendar for the upcoming week:

  1. Prioritise backlog according to business value. The PO is responsible for conveying which activities will produce the most business value. This sometimes involves making tough decisions in determining which features of a product are most important, when they are developed, etc.

  2. Update (or create) the High Level Scope Definition Document - a high level description of the product functionality in a few pages. The scope of an Agile project is defined by high level requirements, in the form of User Stories, scheduled in the Release Plan. Detailed requirements are also the PO’s job but they are only created when they are needed.

  3. Hold a demo of the app. The PO should know the product inside out and routinely demonstrate the ability to use and describe all implemented product flows & features.

  4. Write (or update) the plan for the delivery. Plan, scope, objectives. Product Owners use the Scope Statement as a written confirmation of the results the project will produce and the constraints and assumptions under which you will work. Both the people who requested the project and the project team should agree to all terms in the Scope Statement before actual project work begins.

  5. Create and update Product Backlog Items. This includes linking items to the documentation  space - product functionalities, add details for each story, add customer value on each story, etc.

  6. Sprint Demo feedback, acceptance. The role of the PO is also to accept deliverables at the end of every sprint.

  7. Organise a user testing session to collect feedback from real end-users.

  8. Meet with the marketing team to update the documentation with existing competition and trends.

  9. Discuss the delivery plan with the development team and the stakeholders. Update product roadmap in accordance with their feedback. The PO creates, manages and delivers roadmaps (with meaningful releases goals, milestone) and updates them whenever necessary.

  10. Prepare content according to the Definition of Ready (DoR) for at least two sprints ahead. In order to come up with the DoR for a user story, the team conducts regular backlog grooming sessions with the Scrum Product Owner, when the latter explains the stories to the team. A user story is ready when it becomes clear and the team doesn't have any further unanswered or blocker questions.

  11. Make sure the backlog structure is up-to-date: Versions, Components, Epics, Areas, Items type policy. Use Project Tracking Tools (like Jira or TFS).

  12. Work with the designer to discuss feature designs and provide approval or feedback.

  13. Recurrent activity:  Attend all Sprint ceremonies - DSU, Grooming session, Sprint Planning, Sprint Demo, Sprint review.

In our opinion, these are some of the most important aspects in a Scrum Product Owner’s crowded agenda. What does your agenda look like?

 

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