What's The Difference Between A Product Owner And A Scrum Master?




The growth of technology and fast-paced development of new software solutions has resulted in the use of a number of project management techniques. Most organizations are trying to maximize their potential by employing management methodologies that are conducive to their specific environment as well as their products and services. Agile methodology is an impressive management approach, which has been widely recognized for the flexibility that it offers. It allows clients to make small changes to their objectives without adding massively to their infrastructure costs and overall budget. Every Agile methodology consists of four main roles: product owner, scrum master, scrum team, and stakeholder.

The importance of agile methodology and scrum master can be gauged from the high acceptance of this methodology in various industries. According to a survey, conducted by Version One 2016, over 58 percent teams are utilizing Scrum, and 75 percent teams are making use of hybrid agile approaches for project management tasks. This is a clear testament to the importance of agile methodology in the world of project management.

Product Owner vs. Scrum Master

The product owner and the scrum master, both have the same objective of adding value to project management. However, these two roles are defined very differently from each other. While product owner looks at the project from the customer’s perspective, scrum masters solely focuses on the team and its operations. A scrum master’s role is to motivate the team when the going gets tough and maintain efficiency in operations for timely completion of the project. On the other hand, product owners are responsible for managing product backlogs (the priority list of user requirements) and ensuring its visibility at all times. They make sure the business values of the product (as per the client) are not compromised at any time.

Vital Skills for Product Owners and Scrum Master

Product owners should have a good grasp of business concepts as they have to look at the project from the client’s business perspective. They should have a strong personality and good communicating skills for laying down the law. Problem solving is an attribute that all individuals who want to become product owners should have.

Scrum masters need to have leadership and problem-solving skills. As they have the responsibility for all processes, they should know how to conduct team members for the timely achievement of goals. You can go through certified scrum product owner online training to become an efficient and effective product owner. Here’s what a product owner does:

Product Owner Duties

  • Ranks the product features so that development team can comprehend them.
  • Attends sprint planning meetings, which are vital for achieving successful agile implementation.
  • Informs the team about priorities and requirements of the project.
  • Makes the decision on deadline for the project.
  • Determines the release date and contents.
  • Define epics/user stories to agile development team.
  • Prioritizes or grooms the user stories with a few team members and spends some quality time with them before the beginning of the project.

Here’s what a scrum master does:

Scrum Master Duties

  • Responsible for looking after the entire process and proper coordination of scrum team.
  • Removes obstacles in the path of achieving goals for the scrum team.
  • Facilitates his team for better creativity and enhances efficiency of team members.
  • Works with the product owner and ensures product backlog remains in good shape.
  • Presides over retrospective meeting.
  • Conducts sprint planning meeting for the entire team.

Empowering Your Workforce with Agile Methodology

Businesses are finding it hard to sustain themselves with rudimentary techniques for project management. The agile methodology is a proven approach that can be used to empower the workforce. Without changing a lot in your company’s operations and hiring from outside, it is possible to integrate the agile methodology in project management operations by providing certified scrum product owner training to the employees.

About The Author
Shamsah
VP Channel Sales at QuickStart

Shamsah Malik

Shamsah is an entrepreneurial, innovative professional with over ten years of sales, relationship management and business development experience within highly competitive SaaS, information technology, and SLED markets.