Scrum Master & Product Owner: Friends or foes? (Part 2)

 ,,If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.ʻʻ Steve Jobs



Hope you’re enjoyed in the previous article about Scrum, and his crucial roles: Product Owner and Scrum Master. Well, it’s obvious that these two rock stars are designed to work together besides their different duties. It’s always good to remember that they need each other, not excluding their mutual knowledge, expertise, and experience.


Don’t forget that…


both roles have the same objective of adding value to the main project. But, these two are defined very differently from each other. Differences are in their skills and responsibilities which we’ll talk later.


“No Heroics. If you need a hero to get things done, you have a problem. Heroic effort should be viewed as a failure of planning.” Jeff Sutherland: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time


Now, think about the real problems…


… that we can present to you through these interactive drawings:


#1 Conversation between Product Owner & Client


What’s wrong? Can you see it? Can you make a distinction between PO’s and SM’s responsibilities? And the most important – was the Client specific about his demands? When it comes to this situation, PO must inspect: why is Client looking for this change, value of this unexpected change and is it really what he wants or something else. In that sense, Product Owner is the guardian of product, client and his vision. But, on the other side, Product Owner can’t command to the development team and can’t change priorities by night. That’s why we have a Scrum Master. SM and PO together are checking why is that change necessary right now. SM protects the team from sudden requests. But, if changes are obligatory and necessary, SM and PO must agree about the scope and prioritization of a new change. That’s why these roles are designed to work together in order to create great value for each side. ☺️


#2 Conversation between Team & Scrum Master


What’s wrong? In this example, SM is making a mistake. Why? Because SM is managing the process and must suggest the development team the importance of holding the Daily Scrum so they can be familiar with the tasks of each team member and where the project goes. You must have 15 minutes each day for Daily meeting. Building trust between team members, encouraging personal planning, syncing the team with how things are going and high visibility of progress are some of crucial benefits of Daily meetings. These Dailys are improving the individual’s commitment to the team and Scrum Master inspires the team in many segments, especially in this one.


#3 Conversation between Product Owner & Scrum Master


What’s wrong? Do you know why SM and PO must be friends and not foes? Product Owner is responsible for creating User Stories (he/she talks with client, about his needs because he/she knows everything about business aspect of the product). After that, PO must consult with the team about tasks complexity, suggest activities and their priority. On the other side, Scrum Master also should collaborate with the team to estimate each User Story in order to see that the whole job is going to be finished on time. Scrum Master follows the process and is it everything on time. (PO = responds to question WHAT needs to be done, TEAM = for HOW MUCH TIME they can accomplish the tasks). And this is a desirable collaboration between Scrum team, respecting each duty and skill.



Our agile Yin and Yang


Product Owners and Scrum Masters must collaborate. Like Yin and Yang, they’re complementary forces that interact as one and make fantastic results. Because of that, in the upcoming article, we’ll show you some interesting facts about these roles and why are mandatory in modern business.


Be Agile – Learn about Scrum while doing Scrum. And that‘s quite a challenging adventure. ☺️ 


Read more: Scrum Master & Product Owner: Friends or foes? (Part 3)