Scrum Master & Product Owner: Friends or foes? (Part 4)

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead



Some journeys are valuable, especially business ones. We got fantastic reactions on the previous articles (part 1, part 2 and part 3) where we explained in details the main differences between our two agile heroes: Scrum Master and Product Owner. Actually, in order to be clear to everyone, we presented some of their skills and responsibilities through basic situations. And thank you for your kind comments. 😊 


Tales as old as time


Pessimists say that there’s a thin line between love and hate. But this is only generally speaking. From the others – optimistic and realistic side, after decades of talking and arguing why collaboration between Product Owner and Scrum Master is essential, great examples from real business environment pointed to their mutual cooperation.

Persistence, commitment, loyalty… these are some of the values for each role. Right? Knowing their skills, responsibilities and job, everything comes easier. But, we also mustn’t forget the human aspect and mutual cooperation between Product Owner, Scrum Master and the team, especially in understanding and respecting different opinions, suggestions and values they bring into the project. For now, let’s summarize what’s important for each role.


Hello, Product Owners! Do you know what’s important for your role?


The Product Owner is responsible for the product being created using Scrum and he/she must know how to convert vision into product backlog. In ways of talking about facilitation, PO serves as a live channel carrying communications to and from the team in order to keep the vision of the product. Also, clarifying the product vision makes sense for every role to be fully engaged in the vision and be ready to inspect and define every segment of the job. PO aslo appreciates clear and open communication with the Client, and by respecting vision of the product, he/she knows each aspect of his/her duties. PO must consult with the team about tasks complexity, discuss activities and their priority without commanding them. As an intelligent, valuable and capable for any challenge you have to have a wider picture of everything around you, and yes – love your Scrum Master!  😊


,,If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assing them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.ʻʻ, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


For Scrum Master is crucial to repeat…


…that he/she is the ”process owner” and without a doubt – the team’s guardian. In ways of talking about facilitation, Scrum Master is an extraordinary example of serving the team. Supporting self-organization and being a thoughtful observer makes him/her a fantastic leader. Can you assume what aspect of their duties is important? Answer – everything. Improving team morale, also, is something that’s challenging in every project, taking into account the leadership side of each SM. By keeping lines of communication open each project has a good chance for success. You can’t forget that SM is leading the team through healthy conflict and debate, without arguing. He/she isn’t telling the team what to do, instead he/she is coaching them, leading through the world of agile, encourages, supports and enables the team to reach its full potential.

Mutual cooperation, also, includes so-called ”backlog polishing”. In one word – it means that SM and PO together groom the backlog in the current sprint and trying to ensure the next sprint is in line with reality. When you observe this unbreakable circle of communication, cooperation and support, the goal is easier to accomplish, especially with complete experts with proper soft skills. Both roles are leader stars, each in their domain.


Hope it’s now clear…


…that Scrum Master and Product Owner are truly partners in mutually beneficial effort to get the best possible results from their team’s efforts. And they are as strong and valuable as the team they support. Scrum Masters and Product Owners are real superheroes. Friends in best and worst. And that’s the only truth that’s matters. Appreciate how they can make the most of their collaboration.


Do you agree with this? Tell us why is this crucial in every aspect of the business, and of course – share this article with your friends and colleagues! 😊