Must Product Ownership Include or Embody the Scrum Values?

If you had to look at the Scrum Values, you’d see that the focus is on the key values of openness, respect, commitment and encouragement. So as a Product Owner, you really need to be able to personally embody that value and the product idea behind it. This will require a committed mindset and clear focus on what it is you actually want to achieve. So yes, I think that you should embody the Scrum Values and which doesn’t mean you have to be nice all the time but rather that you need to have situational awareness and know when and what Scrum Values to apply to varying contexts.  

Why Product Owners Should Embody the Scrum Values  

Product owners play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the Scrum framework, as they are responsible for maximizing the value of the product and ensuring alignment with customer needs. Embodying the Scrum values – openness, courage, commitment, focus, and respect is essential for effectively navigating the complex challenges of product development. By practicing openness, they foster transparent communication with the Development Team and Stakeholders, enabling collaborative problem-solving and informed decision-making. Courage on the other hand empowers Product Owners to take calculated risks, make tough decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances, all of which are vital in a dynamic development environment.  

 Commitment ensures that the product owner is dedicated to the project’s goals and is accountable for delivering value to customers. Maintaining a sharp focus on the product’s priorities helps Product Owners guide the team’s efforts toward delivering high-quality features that align with the product vision. Lastly, demonstrating respect for the expertise and perspectives of the Development team and Stakeholders creates a positive and collaborative work environment. In essence, embodying these Scrum Values not only strengthens the Product Owner’s leadership but also nurtures a culture of agility, innovation, and continuous improvement within the entire Scrum Team. 

Openness is Key in Situational Awareness 

Another important aspect of Product Ownership is Stakeholder engagement. Sometimes you will be really careful because you do not want to annoy them but with other people you might be more pushy depending on who you are talking to. Situational awareness is thus beneficial here because even though you should have a strong opinion, you should not be narrow minded. So if you are convinced that somebody has a better point, you should be open to that as well.  

 In conclusion, embracing openness as a fundamental Scrum value holds unparalleled significance for a Product Owner’s role within an Agile development framework. Openness lies in fostering effective communication, transparency, and collaboration among team members, Stakeholders, and customers. By upholding this value, Product Owners create an environment where feedback flows freely, insights are shared, and ideas are refined collectively. 

 When transparency prevails, trust deepens, and collaboration flourishes. This leads to enhanced motivation, accountability, and a shared commitment to the project’s success. 

 If you want to learn more about the tips and tricks of being an impactful Product Owner, get in touch with Ralph and he’ll lead the way! 


About Effective Agile

Ralph Jocham is a Change Agent in Scrum // Agile // Coaching // Evidence Based Management and also a Professional Scrum Trainer based in Europe.

As one of the first Professional Scrum Trainers in the world, Ralph has worked directly with cocreator of #scrum, Ken Schwaber, and has played an integral part in the course development of the #PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) as well as the delivery of all certified courses.

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