Scrum Master and Product Owner: Their Roles and Responsibilities

Krunal Shah

Jan 05, 2022

5 min readLast Updated Jan 05, 2022

Software development is a team sport and to be successful in it, employees need to understand their roles clearly. A defined set of roles and responsibilities will render a clear roadmap to the employees allowing them to contribute to the overall growth of the company.

Moreover, if a business wishes to encourage a high level of communication between its teams, it should opt for Scrum framework. A Scrum team consists: Scrum Master, Product Owner and development team. The team delivers work according to the product requirements adhering to the rules and norms of the organization.

In the team, the Scrum Master and Product Owner work together, but their core responsibilities are different. The Scrum Master’s responsibilities include leading the Agile development team and supporting the Product Owner by giving updates to employees. On the other hand, the Product Owner primarily manages the product backlog to ensure the company makes the maximum value.Therefore, in this blog, we will understand the roles and responsibilities of these two vital cogs of scrum software development. In addition, we will oversee the roles of the development team as well.

Roles and responsibilities of product owner and scrum master

Roles and Responsibilities: Scrum Master

The Scrum master ensures that the team understands the Scrum principles and implements them to the best of their abilities. Along with this, the Scrum master trains the team about Agile development to take the best out of them.

Enhances team productivity

The Scrum Master organizes all the events requested by the team members. Moreover, he also encourages the team to take important decisions to increase the productivity of the team. The scrum master always focuses on helping the team by guiding them rather than ordering.

Removes obstructions

The other aspect under Scrum Master’s responsibilities is to remove the impediments that hamper the team’s productivity. The Scrum Master prioritizes the obstruction according to its impact on the team’s performance. He takes care of those hindrances that his team members are not able to solve.

Improves overall process

Along with the team, the Scrum Master is vital in improving the team process. By this, the team can work to its full potential and deliver the desired results. The Scrum Master doesn’t do the work himself but devises a process that allows the team to reach their goal quickly.

Takes responsibility

The Scrum Master is never a boss but the leader of the team. It is the Scrum Master’s responsibility to ask his team for the concern and make sure that they are addressed. He oversees the fact that the essential requirements of his team are always met. Prioritizing this allows the scrum team to work efficiently and produce great results.

Ensures better communication

In the scrum software development process, both the product owner and team require guidance. Here the Scrum Master becomes the bridge between the product owner and team and ensures better communication. The Scrum Master also instructs the product owner to devote ample time to the team’s overall success.

Also read: Top 6 Project Management Software Features That Will Skyrocket Your Project Performance

Roles and responsibilities: Product Owner

The Product Owner is the representative of the customers and is the connecting link between the developers and stakeholders. Since it is a very crucial role, it is essential to know the roles and responsibilities of a Product Owner. Whether it is the Sprint Activities or the Development efforts, the Product Owner is needed everywhere.

Manages product backlog

Managing product backlog is one of the primary responsibilities of the Product owner. As mentioned earlier that the Product Owner is the connecting link, it is essential to order the items in the backlog to fulfil stakeholder’s requirements. Moreover, along with prioritizing the product backlog, he should be there to give clarification to the development team.

He also keeps a keen eye on grooming the product backlog and refine the delivered issue. Moreover, if anyone else adds/removes items from the product backlog, they need to direct it to the Product Owner.

Enabler for the development team

In the scrum software development process, Product Owner is vital in Sprint related activities. By being the enable, he directs them to deliver the product backlog items by the end of the sprint.

Along with the Sprint activities, the Product owner is vital in working on the product release activities. During the product release, he discusses the next release with the stakeholders. Moreover, it is necessary for the development team to respect the Product Owner. This is because it is necessary for the overall success of the team.

Defines product criteria

It is the responsibility of the Product Owner to certify the features of the product. He is the sole person who defines the basic product criteria for each backlog item. Here the development team will help the Product Owner in defining the acceptance criteria for the product.

Moreover, he must oversee if the product passes all the tests to meet the criteria. To ensure the functional quality is met, the Product Owner should take assistance from the experts. The tests are necessary to find any issue in the product and resolve them before the final review.

Also read: Best Agile Practices To Make Project Management More Efficient

Roles and responsibilities: Development team

After seeing the Product Owner and Scrum Master’s responsibilities, it is now time to look at the responsibilities of the development team. The development team might have people with specialized skills such as:

  • Back-end developers
  • Front-end developers
  • QA experts
  • Business Analyst

Despite this, there is no specific title allowed, all members in the team are known as developers.

Finalizing the estimations

It is the responsibility of the development team to see items from product backlogs and deliver them in the next Sprint. Moreover, the development team creates tasks by bifurcating the Sprint items and providing estimates on the items.

Development and delivery

The development team creates a ‘done increment’ based on the ‘definition of done’ for every sprint. The done increment is the potential releasable functionality that is used by the end user.

Final Thoughts

For any team to function as a ‘well-oiled’ machinery, each team member has to understand their responsibility. The story is no different for the Scrum team. The blog defines the Scrum Master’s responsibilities, the role of the Product Owner and development team in a crisp way. Moreover, a clear understanding of roles is vital in deploying work to the employees as well.

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