Scrum Master & Product Owner- An Overview
Scrum is infamous and widely used responsive software development structure. This method recognizes three different roles: the product owner who has the vision for the product; the scrum master who helps the team to build the product in the best way possible; and the team of engineers who create the product.
There are a lot of issues with the creation and development of the product, and at the top hierarchies, it gets difficult if the roles and responsibilities are not properly defined. That is why it is very important to classify the job of the product owner and the scrum master.
She/he is the person responsible for making a group live by qualities and practices of Scrum. He is regularly viewed as a trainer for the group, helping the group to reach its targets and do the job efficiently and effectively. He is also seen as a process owner for the group, creating a balance with the project's key stakeholders.
Responsibilities of a Scrum Master
His job responsibilities include the following:
Removing any obstructions that hinder the growth or development of the project,
Effectively working alongside with the product owner to ensure the product backlog is in good shape and ready for the next sprint.
To strike a good balance between the team and the product owner.
Ensuring that the team of developers/engineers don't over-commit themselves to what they can’t achieve if the product owner is over achieving or has unachievable targets.
Make sure the group is fully productive and improving on quality and functionality.
Responsible for helping the group deliver the required work to the Product Owner on time and within the given parameters and instructions
Make sure the group has achievable targets and simultaneously the work doesn’t get delayed or off track.
Oversee that the team can meet its commitments and helps removes any impediments they are facing, any blockers that they cannot remove themselves, including Managing dependencies
Facilitates process and meetings (e.g., Stand Ups, Planning, Reviews, Estimation, Scheduling, and Prioritization)
Responsible for reporting progress, including delivering standard outward- facing artifacts
Manages Product Owners desires of the product and from the team
Shields group from distractions and interferences (including or against the Product Owner)
Enables close cooperation between overall roles and functions
He usually is an experienced person either a former project manager or a technical team leader with a strong background of relevant work exposure. He can also be seen as a defender of the group.
Scrum Master’s Role
A Scrum master’s role is not an easy task; one should know where to draw the line at the same time not forgetting the work expected from them. Many new appointees at the Scrum Master role struggle to know and oblige with the roles the job entails. They get confused as to who is a scrum master, a leader or a worker. Actually to be precise he is none, he is a manager in a lay man’s term. His job responsibilities are many but to simplify the role he is a manager of the work force and supervise their work. He does not own the team and cannot assign roles to them as it falls out of his work rights, but then again he can act as a trainer to the group and make them achieve their highest potential.
A good scrum master makes a good balance of casual and professional bond with the taskforces much so that he can advice and strictly be heard by the team for their good. A mutual trust between the scrum master and his subordinates is a must for good working. He/ She can inspire and motivate them to be better at their job and give them guidelines and tricks of the trade to be better at their job.
Their authority is many times limited by the product owner to ensuring that group takes action after the procedure, the ScrumMaster's role can be more troublesome than that of a typical project manager. Project manager often has the last resort of saying "do it because I say so." But there are times when a Scrum Master cannot or is not allowed to have such a command of the team.
Then again, a person who is dedicated and cares for his team and is good at his work knows how to get his work done within the given means one can always develop a strong bond of trust where his juniors respect and listen to his advice as they know it is for their benefit and there are no ego clashes at the workplace.
A Scrum product Owner is typically a project's key functionary. It is the vision of the product owner which creates this bubble. It is the duty of the owner to pass on his dream and mission in its entirety to the Scrum Manager and the team. This is one of the keys to effectively begin any agile software development project. Product Owner is usually the lead user of the system or somebody from marketing, anyone with a solid understanding of users, product management, the marketplace, competition and of future trends for domain or type of system being developed.
This differs tremendously based on whether the group is creating business Software, or software for inside utilizing, or equipment or any other kind of product. The fact is that the individual in the product owner’s role needs to be a visionary with a viable dream and a few management skills, rest can be managed and supported by a Scrum Manager, and the work floor activities are done by the team. In spite of the fact that the agile PO organizes the product build-up amid the sprint arranging meeting, the group chooses the measure of work they trust they can do amid every sprint, and what number of sprints will be required.
The product owner's job is to provide the group with a reasonable and elevating goal which is within their means and is achievable. Team members know best what they can do. Thus they select which client stories from the highest point of the product excess they can focus on conveying amid any sprint.
A good product owner knows what he wants and is very clear from the beginning. It is expected from a product owner to not throw new tasks and changes while the work is in progress. He should be well versed with what he has to ask from the team and does not alter his requirements and hinder the working of the taskforce.
The product owner role requires a person with specific abilities and characteristics, including availability, business sense and communication skills. To begin with, the Scrum product owner should be accessible to his or her group. The best product owners show duty by doing whatever is important to build an ideal product – and that implies being actively engaged in with their groups. An agile PO should understand market, the client and the business keeping making sound decisions. At last, communication is a vast part of the product owner obligations. The product owner role requires working intimately with key stakeholder all through the organization and beyond, so he or she should have the capacity to communicate different messages to different people about projects at any given time.
Product Owner's Responsibilities
A product owner’s responsibilities are no less. He has to overlook not just the working of the Scrum Master and the team but also has to keep a check on the developments of the product. He simultaneously has to be aware as to the developments in the economy and the market and if his product will receive acceptance or criticism. He should be quick to analyze the situation and make necessary changes well before it is too late. His responsibilities include:
Accountable for the vision, extension and size of the product
Voice of the Stakeholders and represents the business to the world
Manages stakeholder relationships and expectations
Defines key elements of the product and success criteria to the team and scrum master
Sets the delivery schedule by managing backlog – creates and updates release plan, including prioritization
Takes advice from the group on Backlog Dependencies
Single point of contact for product ( New requirements Prioritizing backlog items)
Accountable for project achievement
Decides on the release date, budget, and contents
Accepts and Rejects work in sprint reviews
So, it is evident to say that no work can go smoothly without the clear demarcation of work between the two. It is not like the work can be managed by one individual. The job responsibilities and tasks are huge and require the skill set of two very professional people who know their work well. It is just the fact that there should be a clear and defined line between the two roles that they do not merge and create blockages for the development of the product. Creation takes the immense knowledge and good spirits of all the people involved, and if the top executives are clear and at good terms it can work wonders and that is the mark of a good organization.