Product Owner v/s Scrum Master
The product owner and Scrum Master are two different roles that complement each other. If one is not played properly, the other suffers. As the product owner, you are responsible for the product success — for creating a product that does a great job for the users and customers and that meets its business goals. You therefore interact with users and customers as well as the internal stakeholders, the development team and Scrum Master, as the following diagram shows.
The grey circle in the picture above describes the Scrum Team consisting of the product owner, the Scrum Master and the cross-functional development team.
The Scrum Master is responsible for the process success — for helping the product owner and the team use the right process to create a successful product, and for facilitating organisational change and establishing an agile way of working. Consequently, the Scrum Master collaborates with the product owner and the development team as well as senior management, human resources (HR), and the business groups affected by Scrum, as following pictures illustrates:
Succeeding as a product owner requires the right skill set, time, effort, and focus. So does playing the Scrum Master role. Combining both roles – even partially – is not only very challenging but means that some duties are neglected. If you are the product owner, then stay clear of the Scrum Master duties!
What the Product Owner should Expect from the Scrum Master
As a product owner, you should benefit from the Scrum Master’s work in several ways. The Scrum Master should coach the team so that the team members can build a great product, facilitate organisational change so that the organisation leverages Scrum, and help you do a great job. The following table details the support you should expect from the Scrum Master:
|Product owner coaching||
The Scrum Master supports you as the product owner so that you can focus on your job – making sure that the right product with the right user experience (UX) and the right features is created. If your Scrum Master does not or cannot provide this support, then talk to the individual, and find out what’s wrong. Don’t jump in and take over the Scrum Master’s job. If you don’t have a Scrum Master, show the list above to sponsor to explain why you need a qualified Scrum Master at your side.
What the Scrum Master should Expect from the Product Owner
It takes two to Tango, and it’s only fair that your Scrum Master has expectations about your work as the product owner. The table below describes the Scrum Master’s expectations in more detail:
|Vision and Strategy||