top

Maximizing Product Value Through Scrum

Any organization that adopts Scrum, does so with a single goal in mind; to maximize value. Scrum is the most widely used Agile framework for a reason—because it allows for quick adaptation and value creation.  But the road to using Scrum in the right way is not an easy one. An organization that works on value maximization using Scrum understands and employs Scrum principles and processes fully, so as to enhance all its benefits.Let us understand how Scrum organizations can maximize value and the roles in a Scrum team that work towards it.Scrum Organizations Maximizing ValueWhat increases a product’s value?  Its demand in the marketFavourable response from customers  Latest featuresHigh qualityDurabilityScrum helps create a product that fulfils all these requirements. Teams create value through an empirical process that is based on the Scrum values of transparency, inspection and adaptation. At the end of each sprint, the team openly shows the product increment to stakeholders, who inspect it and give their honest feedback. They then adapt the feedback and redefine the work to ensure continuous improvement.Agile thus helps enhance flexibility and adaptability, helping organizations quickly respond to market changes. It fosters innovation allowing developers to deliver the highest quality thus making end users happy while the concept of minimum viable product helps reduce the time to market.  Scrum engineering practices such as unit testing, test drive development and so on help improve product quality, while Scrum’s focus on customer needs ensure early and frequent delivery which in turn keeps customers happy.Illustrations of Scrum:With the launch of the Scrum Guide 2020, Scrum.org created a new illustration of the Scrum Framework. This new illustration reflects the new changes in the Scrum Guide including the Product Goal, putting the focus back on the Scrum team and the three commitments of Product Goal, Sprint Goal, and the Definition of Done that help the Scrum team deliver value.  Who is Product Owner?“The product owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the development team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, scrum teams, and individuals.”—Scrum GuideThe Product Owner is the third arm of a Scrum team along with the development team and the Scrum Master. The product owner is responsible for maximising the product value, representing the stakeholders and ensuring that their needs are met, prioritizing the product backlog, empowering the team, maintaining Agile and Scrum processes and defining the product vision.A Product Owner:Manages stakeholders and drive valueManages effective communication between the development team and stakeholdersProvides the product vision to the development team and resolves conflicts that may arise between stakeholders or development team membersPrioritizes item backlogThe Product Owner Role in Releasable SoftwareThough the Product Owner is a specialist role in a Scrum team they are not directly responsible for creating the shippable software. However, the Product Owner is in-charge of maximizing product value and checking if the product can be released. According to the Scrum Guide “If part of the work is potentially releasable, the Product Owner typically accepts it.” Product Owner maximizes value by prioritization and ordering Product Backlog ItemsAs mentioned above, the primary responsibility of the product owner is to maximize product value. This they do by being charge of the product backlog and prioritizing items on the backlog. The product backlog is a list of items that are listed based on their priorities, which are decided by the product owner and the development team. The product backlog keeps getting updated as and when goals are met and the development process moves ahead.  Prioritization of the product backlog is an important aspect of a Scrum project. The Product Owner must have the innate skills to understand the items that would need priority and need to be delivered or worked upon first. Based on the product backlog the development team would know which item to develop and deliver first.  As of 2011, the Scrum Guide has started using the word Ordering instead of Prioritizing for the product backlog. So, in essence ordering the product backlog is the same as prioritizing the backlog, which means to list or order the items based on their importance in context to each other. Following the ordered backlog ensures that there is cost optimization, value delivery and customer satisfaction.  But how does the product owner and the team determine which item on the list is most important?Essentially the product backlog ordering is influenced by certain criteria:The value the product/feature brings to the business: H3 An item or feature’s immediate importance will depend on the value it brings in to the customer or overall product. Features that relate more to the overall product vision are given higher priority.  Complexity: H3 More complex items would need more time and resources to get done. These are given higher priority than less complex items.Time factor: H3 The feature being delivered should have value when it is delivered. There is no use delivering a feature after it has lost its use or functionality, or is no longer relevant in the market. This will not only result in resource wastage but will also go against Agile’s ‘just in time’ planning.How Product Owners collaborate with Development Team to maximize valueThe product owner alone cannot prioritize the backlog. They need the help of the development team who will estimate various factors like complexity of the feature, and the estimated time and resources that would go into building the feature, while ordering the product backlog.An effective product backlog helps maximize value, keeps things transparent and helps enhance quality of the product being delivered.Getting the team’s views and inputs while ordering the product backlog is an important exercise that must be spearheaded by the product owner. This collaboration sets the tone for the backlog refinements and sprint planning.  This collaboration brings out the best in the team and lays the foundation for a successful Scrum project.Required Skills for Product Owner To Maximize ValueThe product owner is the driving force of the Agile team. By no means understated, the product owner’s role is increasingly becoming among the most important roles in agile organizations. A successful product owner must possess many skills including technical, Scrum and soft skills.Core Knowledge:Having knowledge of the core areas of your business and product is a must if you want to be an effective product owner.  These core skills include:Market researchBusiness strategyFinancial and Business modelsProduct lifecycle managementProduct visionScrum Knowledge:As a product owner you are the bridge between the stakeholders and the development team. You may think that directing the team on the adoption of Scrum is the responsibility of the product owner, but as the master of the product vision, you also need to know Scrum principles in order to guide the team on the product backlog.You should have knowledge of:Scrum conceptsScrum estimationProduct backlog prioritizationRelease ManagementTimeboxing SprintsTechnical Knowledge:Technical knowledge is a great plus for product owners. This will help you in your dialogue with the development team and will also aid you when you have to explain the team’s arguments to the stakeholders.It’s an added advantage for the product owner to have knowledge of:Design ThinkingUXLean Start-upOrganizational ProcessThe Scrum framework was developed as an alternative to traditional project methodologies to help teams and organizations to maximize value and aid in better product development. The Product Owner and the development team work together and navigate the product backlog to deliver items that ensure stakeholder satisfaction. This they accomplish through prioritization and ordering of the product backlog items.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 65 customer reviews
Normal Mode Dark Mode

Maximizing Product Value Through Scrum

Certified Trainer
Blog
26th Jul, 2021
Maximizing Product Value Through Scrum

Any organization that adopts Scrum, does so with a single goal in mind; to maximize value. Scrum is the most widely used Agile framework for a reason—because it allows for quick adaptation and value creation.  

But the road to using Scrum in the right way is not an easy one. An organization that works on value maximization using Scrum understands and employs Scrum principles and processes fully, so as to enhance all its benefits.

Let us understand how Scrum organizations can maximize value and the roles in a Scrum team that work towards it.

Scrum Organizations Maximizing Value

Scrum Organizations Maximizing Value

What increases a product’s value?  

  • Its demand in the market
  • Favourable response from customers  
  • Latest features
  • High quality
  • Durability

Scrum helps create a product that fulfils all these requirements. Teams create value through an empirical process that is based on the Scrum values of transparency, inspection and adaptation. At the end of each sprint, the team openly shows the product increment to stakeholders, who inspect it and give their honest feedback. They then adapt the feedback and redefine the work to ensure continuous improvement.

Agile thus helps enhance flexibility and adaptability, helping organizations quickly respond to market changes. It fosters innovation allowing developers to deliver the highest quality thus making end users happy while the concept of minimum viable product helps reduce the time to market.  

Scrum engineering practices such as unit testing, test drive development and so on help improve product quality, while Scrum’s focus on customer needs ensure early and frequent delivery which in turn keeps customers happy.

Illustrations of Scrum:

The Scrum Framework

With the launch of the Scrum Guide 2020, Scrum.org created a new illustration of the Scrum Framework. This new illustration reflects the new changes in the Scrum Guide including the Product Goal, putting the focus back on the Scrum team and the three commitments of Product Goal, Sprint Goal, and the Definition of Done that help the Scrum team deliver value.  

Who is Product Owner?

“The product owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the development team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, scrum teams, and individuals.”—Scrum Guide

The Product Owner is the third arm of a Scrum team along with the development team and the Scrum Master. The product owner is responsible for maximising the product value, representing the stakeholders and ensuring that their needs are met, prioritizing the product backlog, empowering the team, maintaining Agile and Scrum processes and defining the product vision.

A Product Owner:

  • Manages stakeholders and drive value
  • Manages effective communication between the development team and stakeholders
  • Provides the product vision to the development team and resolves conflicts that may arise between stakeholders or development team members
  • Prioritizes item backlog

The Product Owner Role in Releasable Software

The Product Owner Role in Releasable Software

Though the Product Owner is a specialist role in a Scrum team they are not directly responsible for creating the shippable software. However, the Product Owner is in-charge of maximizing product value and checking if the product can be released. According to the Scrum Guide “If part of the work is potentially releasable, the Product Owner typically accepts it.” 

Product Owner maximizes value by prioritization and ordering Product Backlog Items

Scrum Product Backlog

As mentioned above, the primary responsibility of the product owner is to maximize product value. This they do by being charge of the product backlog and prioritizing items on the backlog. The product backlog is a list of items that are listed based on their priorities, which are decided by the product owner and the development team. The product backlog keeps getting updated as and when goals are met and the development process moves ahead.  

Prioritization of the product backlog is an important aspect of a Scrum project. The Product Owner must have the innate skills to understand the items that would need priority and need to be delivered or worked upon first. Based on the product backlog the development team would know which item to develop and deliver first.  

As of 2011, the Scrum Guide has started using the word Ordering instead of Prioritizing for the product backlog. So, in essence ordering the product backlog is the same as prioritizing the backlog, which means to list or order the items based on their importance in context to each other. Following the ordered backlog ensures that there is cost optimization, value delivery and customer satisfaction.  

But how does the product owner and the team determine which item on the list is most important?

Essentially the product backlog ordering is influenced by certain criteria:

  • The value the product/feature brings to the business: H3 An item or feature’s immediate importance will depend on the value it brings in to the customer or overall product. Features that relate more to the overall product vision are given higher priority.  
  • Complexity: H3 More complex items would need more time and resources to get done. These are given higher priority than less complex items.
  • Time factor: H3 The feature being delivered should have value when it is delivered. There is no use delivering a feature after it has lost its use or functionality, or is no longer relevant in the market. This will not only result in resource wastage but will also go against Agile’s ‘just in time’ planning.

How Product Owners collaborate with Development Team to maximize value

The product owner alone cannot prioritize the backlog. They need the help of the development team who will estimate various factors like complexity of the feature, and the estimated time and resources that would go into building the feature, while ordering the product backlog.

An effective product backlog helps maximize value, keeps things transparent and helps enhance quality of the product being delivered.

Getting the team’s views and inputs while ordering the product backlog is an important exercise that must be spearheaded by the product owner. This collaboration sets the tone for the backlog refinements and sprint planning.  

This collaboration brings out the best in the team and lays the foundation for a successful Scrum project.

Required Skills for Product Owner To Maximize Value

Required Skills for Product Owner To Maximize Value

The product owner is the driving force of the Agile team. By no means understated, the product owner’s role is increasingly becoming among the most important roles in agile organizations. A successful product owner must possess many skills including technical, Scrum and soft skills.

Core Knowledge:

Having knowledge of the core areas of your business and product is a must if you want to be an effective product owner.  

These core skills include:

  • Market research
  • Business strategy
  • Financial and Business models
  • Product lifecycle management
  • Product vision

Scrum Knowledge:

As a product owner you are the bridge between the stakeholders and the development team. You may think that directing the team on the adoption of Scrum is the responsibility of the product owner, but as the master of the product vision, you also need to know Scrum principles in order to guide the team on the product backlog.

You should have knowledge of:

  • Scrum concepts
  • Scrum estimation
  • Product backlog prioritization
  • Release Management
  • Timeboxing Sprints

Technical Knowledge:

Technical knowledge is a great plus for product owners. This will help you in your dialogue with the development team and will also aid you when you have to explain the team’s arguments to the stakeholders.

It’s an added advantage for the product owner to have knowledge of:

  • Design Thinking
  • UX
  • Lean Start-up
  • Organizational Process

The Scrum framework was developed as an alternative to traditional project methodologies to help teams and organizations to maximize value and aid in better product development. The Product Owner and the development team work together and navigate the product backlog to deliver items that ensure stakeholder satisfaction. This they accomplish through prioritization and ordering of the product backlog items.

Certified

Certified Trainer

Trainer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

REQUEST A FREE DEMO CLASS

SUBSCRIBE OUR BLOG

Follow Us On

Share on