I n the second part of the series "SCRUM@FLS", authors Svenja Wildführ and Tim Hartnack examine the role of the product owner closely.
The members of a scrum team are composed of various skills and experiences. For scrum teams in software development, mainly software developers will be present. There is also the scrum master and the product owner. In this article, we would like to describe the role of the product owner in general and the specifics of FLS.
PRODUCT OWNERWithin the scrum team, product owners take responsibility for the output of the scrum team and the generation of maximum value for the company through the activities of the scrum team. For this purpose, product owners prepare work packages for the team and show the team a vision of the product. The decision of which tasks the scrum team will undertake within a sprint is therefore the product owner's responsibility.
The primary tool of the product owner is the backlog. It is a list of prioritized tasks, which are also called backlog items. These backlog items need to be described so that there are only a limited number of questions, if any at all, that need to be answered outside of the scrum team. The backlog must be transparent to all parties involved in the work. Also, the product owners ensure that the entries in the backlog are of consistent quality and comprehensible. This will save the entire team time and minimize communication problems between the customer's requirements and the development team.
Although in previous editions of the Scrum Guides , product owners were placed outside the team, in the latest edition they are correctly a part of the team. This prevents "them" and "us" thinking within the team, because product owners, along with all other team members, are responsible for achieving the sprint goal.
THE ROLE IN FLS – FAST LEAN SMART
Our FLS solutions (FLS VISITOUR and DISPATCH NOW) offer a vast array of features that can be difficult for a single person to oversee in their entirety. That's why we at FLS - FAST LEAN SMART have opted to establish a team of product experts (PE) who, in collaboration with the product owners (PO), continue to refine the product vision and use it to derive work packages for their teams.
By dividing the scrum teams into segments ("Retail", "Surveyors", "Technical Service"), it is possible to develop a deeper understanding of the relevant industry solutions within a team. This can improve the product understanding of each team member and generate higher product value for our customers using a user-oriented and market-oriented perspective.
One of the biggest challenges for the product experts and product owners during the transition to scrum is to revisit the existing customer requirements. For the scrum teams to understand these requirements better, they are rewritten into user stories. Here, users of the FLS software and the specific application situation are the focus of a requirement. This way, why something should be developed is made transparent to the development team. With the help of acceptance criteria, the requirement is specified even more precisely to make sure that all customer criteria are satisfied by the development.
Besides leading the refinement, the review and the first part of the sprint planning, our product experts participate in the team dailies, gather missing information, question the team's approach and work in close collaboration with the development teams and the end users on new features to achieve the greatest possible added value for our customers.
Read part 1 of the series "SCRUM@FLS" here.
For more information on the SCRUM framework, click here.