How Does The Product Owner Manage Various Stakeholders' Desires For The Product

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Feb 06, 2021

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Art of Stakeholder management 

The product owner (PO) must know the interest of the various stakeholders with whom he will be working such as users, colleagues, managers, customers, etc. As the name implies he owns the entire project and he must rightly interface between people. It is important for him to know all the participants very well, how they can be of help in the project and what they need etc. It is necessary that the PO manages all of them by collaborating with them and understanding them to deliver the right product.

The most important thing for the PO is to earn trust among all the participants. Trust in the PO by the participants provides the confidence to work on the deliverables and to complete the work on time. 

The PO gains support, confidence, and trust from the team by escalating the issues as they appear in real-time. This is key to the successful culture and principles of the scrum. The team must not work in fear of escalating the issues as this becomes crucial for the project in solving the issues in real-time and as early as possible.

The PO is responsible for the product backlog items or the PBI and makes efforts to make the user's stories and epics with the support of the team members and also prioritize the PBI’s. Enroll for Certified scrum product owner online training StarAgile institute and learn the roles of what the PO does in the scrum project.

Product owner responsibilities

 How does the product owner manage various stakeholders' desires for the product?

1. Know the interest - PO before managing the collaborators and thus the project must know what are the different interest of the collaborators are. 

For example- The customer may be interested in completing the work on time and with all his requirements met and complete with high quality. The scrum master may be interested in delivering value with various scrum events and in the smooth working of the scrum projects. 

The developers and other team members may be interested in working on the tasks and completing them on time and within the schedule. The management or the project sponsor may be interested in reaping profit and other organizational benefits from the project. Thus the PO must understand the various interests of the collaborators and ensure that he aligns his project objectives and goals with them. 

The PO must promote the interest of the various participants and manage the project in the right direction. There may be a slight trade-off when considers the interest of the various participants, but he must believe in the organizational interest and that of the team and customers to support them achieve the objectives and goals of the projects.

2. Earn Trust - Trust of the different participants in turn provides the PO to show responsibility and accountability in his role as a PO and manage and control the projects in the right direction.

For this to happen the PO must be knowledgeable, experienced, and communicate and collaborate well with all the participants. It is not easy to earn trust he must have various art of convincing and do negotiations among the participants. He must be an active listener and must take notes of all the views of the participants for the project to be successful. 

StarAgile provides product owner O training online with CSPO certification for the aspiring POs.

3. Understand the vision and align - The PO is the person responsible for the PBI's and ensures that the entire project goes in the right direction. The projects are based on the strategic direction of the PO and the project's sponsors. This is usually aligned with the strategy of the business and ensures that the vision is satisfied by doing the project. 

The PO must ensure that the entire team understands how important it is for the company to do the projects that are selected after tough negotiations. So it is the responsibility of the PO to ensure that all the stakeholders are aligned to the objectives and vision of the project and that of the business as well. There may be a lot of benefits such as profit, reputation, retention of customers, and other factors that the management gets out of the projects.

4. Escalate at the right time - The issues, risks, and problems must be solved by the product owner as soon as it arises. One of the right things he can do is to escalate the issues at the right time and ensure they are solved. He must promote a culture of open communication, transparency, and excellent collaboration so that the team members escalate the issues as early as possible so that they can be solved early. 

5. Give them time - Time is an important factor when it comes to project completion. The product owner must know how much time it will take to prioritize the PBI's and how much time it takes for each sprint and sprint backlogs. 

This provides him to give sufficient time for the developers and other team members to work on the project. He must have good time management skills, and engage with customers on time, duration, and schedule negotiations. He must assist the scrum master and all team members manage time and make a schedule for all the tasks. He must be knowledgeable to break down the tasks which are more than 8 hours into smaller tasks so that the time can be managed by different developers and testers accordingly. The task management is internal to the team as they own it and are responsible for the sprint backlog work. 

However, as a product owner, he has got increased responsibility in making smaller user stories out of the requirements and ensures that the sprint is not more than 30 days and optimally all the sprints are either 2 weeks or 1 week long. 

6. Include the developers as they are stakeholders too - The developers come into the picture from the start till the end of the projects and they are the people who do the actual work on the projects. It is important that the developers are involved in all the meetings from the planning meetings to sprint meetings and so on so that they understand the deliverables and how to work on them. 

The product owner must listen carefully to the developers so that it will maximize the value of the project and ensure that the developers work with confidence, trust, and put effort into completing the tasks given to them and thus work coherently and collectively to the success of the project. 

The product owner must involve developers when preparing for the PBI's and take their inputs in prioritizing the PBI's. The product owner if possible must participate in the entire daily scrum meeting, weekly scrum progress meeting, and all the planning and execution stages. The product owner must provide confidence to the developers and allow them sufficient time to complete their tasks. Register for Scrum product owner certification at StarAgile institute and learn the concepts of the scrum with the roles and responsibilities of the product owner in the scrum projects.

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Now that you read the 6 ways the product owner can manage various stakeholders, we recommend you to take up CSPO certification online at StarAgile. StarAgile is a training partner of Scrum Alliance Inc for providing theProduct owner certification. What are you waiting for? Register now and become a certified product owner to manage scrum projects. Happy Learning!!!

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