Product Owner vs Scrum Master: Everything You Should Know

Product Owner vs Scrum Master

For someone new to Agile,  the roles of the Scrum Master and the Product Owner may mostly seem overlapping. However, it is imperative to note the differences between the two.

Not only one should recognize the tasks of a product manager and scrum master which may overlap, but also recognize how they complement each other in any given large-scale project.

What is the difference between Product Owner & Scrum Master?

ParameterProduct OwnerScrum Master
Job DescriptionThe product owner should,
• Define Project Scope
• Gather Requirements
• Estimates Time
• Manage budget
• Identify the resources needed
• Report project progress
• Allocate task and prioritizes features
• Ensure Qality
• Manages vendors and risks
The scrum master should,
• Remove impediments and keep the project ontrack
• Encourages collaborations
• Have a good communication
• Be a good listener
• Ready to be flexible in any change
• Have a good partnership with the PO
• Possess leadership qualities
SkillsA product owner can be anyone, who has been a marketers or an engineer but they need to possess a wide range of skills to master the role.
Being savvy about the industry they are in will enable them to understand how the market works.
The product owner has to have a good grasp over concepts like ROI, technical skills, end-user perspective and has to be commited towards vision.
The Products owners would have a constant communication with the business side which gives them a chance to build a good rapport based on trust.
This ability would help in long run in product’s success.
A scrum master is known to have in-depth knowledge of the agile methodology.
He/she is very good in communications and can be mentors.
In case of any ambiguity about the task and the timelines within the team, the scrum master is expected to justify the task and explain its relevance.
It is also expected that the scrum masters are highly organized in terms of managing people.
With an inbuilt leadership quality, they need to strive alongwith the team to attain goals for the teammates.
Keeping people in the team motivated and by preventing the teams from taking shortcuts is another crucial skill needed to be a scrum master.
ResponsibilitiesFew of the responsibilities for Product Owners are as follows:
• To create and maintain the product backlog.
• To work with the Product Manager
• To create a product vision and roadmap.
• To collaborate with the Scrum Master to make sure that the development of the product is in alignment with the original proposal.
• To ensure that the product backlog is updated and is visible to the entire team.
• To work across departments
• To prioritize tasks
• To evaluate progress throughout the product developmental process.
Few of the responsibilities for Product Owners are as follows:
• To plan and execute the Agile Methodology with the Scrum development team.
• To monitor the sprint's progress
• To remove roadblocks in the product's development.
• To work with the Product Owner to make sure the product backlog is up to date.
• To communicate the changes in the product backlog to the development team.
• To motivate the development team to complete tasks on time.
• To report on the success of the sprint
• To conduct sprint retrospectives, and schedule sprint planning meetings.
Role in AgileThe role of the Product Owner in Agile is to relay updates to relevant employees.The role of the Scrum Master in nn Agile is to lead the Agile development team and support it in all phases.
ExampleIn a given situation of conflict, the Product Owners has to be intuitive in making the correct judgement, understanding the needs of different stakeholders and create a product backlog which will find balance the appeases all the stakeholder.In a given situation of conflict, the Scrum master has to take lead using the leadership qualities and act as a collaborator so that any impediments that come up can be handled efficiently.

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