Answering your questions: Understand product, scope and goals

As part of the previous Lean Coffee sessions we’ve answered many questions about the role of a Scrum Master and addressed some challenges together. But we were not able to get through all of the questions, just because there were so many.

To remedy the situation, I have decided to answer some of the questions in short videos. This time we answer a question about the team’s understanding of their product. One of the participants wrote:

Examples for ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team by SM?

Watch the video to learn more about the role of a Scrum Master AND a Product Owner in this important task.

What about Product Owner?

Going back to the Scrum Guide, it is clear that the Product Owner is responsible for helping everyone understand the Product through properly managed Product Backlog:

The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:

[…]

* Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next; and,

* Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.

Scrum Guide

It means that the Product Owner should make sure that the Product Backlog provides enough information for the team to understand what they are building.

Having clear Product Vision, release objectives or milestone goals, Sprint Goals is all part of what the Product Owner should be involved in fully.

Building clear product understanding

While taking care of the Product and the Product Backlog is the Product Owner’s responsibility, as a Scrum Master you have a role to play.

Firstly, making sure everyone understands their role and accountabilities in Scrum. In this case, the Product Owner needs to be working closely with the team to make the Product artifacts transparent.

Secondly, suggesting techniques that can make the information easily understood and available. For example, as I mention in the video, Impact Mapping or Story Mapping. You can also help your team and your Product Owner with tools like Product Vision, Lean Canvas, Customer Persona, Release Planning and many more.

Thirdly, finding ways for effective communication. As you have all the information available about the goals, scope and product domain, make sure your Product Owner and your team collaborate together on reviewing and discussing it.

Yes, the Scrum Guide clearly says:

The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner in several ways, including:

* Ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible;

Scrum Guide

However, as a Scrum Master you cannot force it to happen, but rather support your team in their roles and helping everyone understand the importance of it.

Now it’s back to you.

What are some other tools and techniques you have used previously or have heard about that can help everyone understand the product?

Share your ideas in the comments below.

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About The Author

Hi, my name is Daria Bagina. Iā€™m a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org and a practicing Scrum Master. I help teams and organizations to get the most out of the Scrum and Agile implementation by sharing my personal stories and practical advice.

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