Product Increment, Product Owner

12 Common Product Owner Misconception

  1. Myth – It is one Product Owner per Dev. Team. Fact – It is one Product Owner per product regardless of the number of Dev. Teams working on the product
  2. Myth -Product Owner has to write the user stories/Product Backlog Items. Fact – The Product Owner can write it or have the Dev. Team write it, however they remain accountable (tip – user stories are not part of Scrum and all product backlog items need not be in the form of a User Story)
  3. Myth – Product Owner is the one talking to customer and doing Product Discovery (what the customer wants). Fact – The Product Owner need not be the only one finding out about customer problems, in fact it is a good idea to deeply involve the Dev. Team in the discovery process so that they can understand why they are building the product and what problems they are trying to solve
  4. Myth – Stakeholders cannot talk directly to the Dev. Team, they have to go through the Product Owner. Fact – Stakeholders can talk directly with the Dev. Team as long as they do not override Product Owner’s decisions and do not cause additional headaches to Product Owner
  5. Myth – Product Owner is not needed for Sprint Planning – II. Fact – Product Owner is needed, it is true that an earlier version of the Scrum guide stated that “Product Owner is optional, but should be available if needed”. But as per the current Scrum Guide, Product Owner is mandatory for Sprint Planning -II
  6. Myth – Product Owner need not attend retrospective as it is only for the Dev. Team. Fact – Product Owner is mandatory for the retrospective.
  7. Myth – It is the Product Owner’s responsibility to get the Product Backlog ready for the upcoming Sprint by doing Product Backlog Refinement. Fact – Product Backlog Refinement is a collaborative activity, and the Dev. Team is also equally responsible for getting the Product Backlog ready for the upcoming Sprint
  8. Myth – Product Owner participates in the Daily Scrum – Fact – Product Owner must not participate in the Daily Scrum as it is only for the Dev. Team. However, they can be there as long as they are not disruptive (and if they are, the Scrum Master must deal with it)
  9. Myth – Product Owner must “approve” the work done by the Dev. Team Fact – unless and otherwise explicitly stated in the Definition of “Done” Scrum does not require the Product Owner to “approve” the increment as the increment must be in a releasable state at the end of the Sprint (and should be a high quality increment)
  10. Myth – The Dev. Team reports to the Product Owner. Fact – The Scrum Guide is silent on who reports to who. But, there is a natural (constructive) tension built into the three Scrum Roles and if one role reports to the other, then some of that natural tension is lost
  11. Myth – One person cannot be the Product Owner and Dev. Team member/Scrum Master. Fact – While the Scrum Guide does not prevent one person from playing dual/multiple roles, the natural (constructive) tension present between the three roles is lost
  12. Myth – Product Owner is the one who should be making decisions on the product. Fact – The Dev. Team makes technical decisions on the product every day. The Product Owner may delegate any/all product decisions to the Dev. Team, however, the Product Owner remains accountable

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