Stance 3: The Decision Maker

In the world of Scrum, one role stands out as the ultimate decision-maker: the Product Owner. This individual carries the mantle of accountability at every level of the product development process.  

The Product Owner’s Authority 

The Product Owner, often abbreviated as PO, holds a unique position within a Scrum team. They are the ones who wield the authority to make crucial decisions about the product. Why? Because they are ultimately accountable for the product’s success or failure. This accountability bestows upon them the authority to steer the ship. 


🚀 Accountability: The PO is the linchpin between the development team, Stakeholders, and the customer. They bear the responsibility of ensuring that the product meets customer needs and delivers value. This accountability necessitates decision-making power. 

🚀 Product Vision: The PO is the keeper of the product vision. They must have a crystal-clear understanding of what the product should achieve and how it aligns with the organization’s goals. This vision guides their decision-making process. 

🚀 Prioritization: One of the most critical decisions a Product Owner makes is prioritizing the product backlog. They decide what features or tasks are most important at any given time, ensuring that the team works on the highest-value items. 

Alignment with Scrum Values 

To be an effective decision-maker as a Product Owner, one must align their actions with the Scrum Values. These values serve as guiding principles for Scrum teams and help maintain a collaborative, transparent, and adaptive work environment. 


🚀 Commitment: The PO’s decisions should be rooted in commitment to the product vision and the Scrum process. They must stand by their choices and work closely with the team to achieve sprint goals. 

🚀 Courage: Decision-making requires courage, especially when faced with difficult choices or conflicting stakeholder demands. The PO must have the courage to say “no” when necessary and protect the team’s focus. 

🚀 Focus: Maintaining a clear focus on the product’s goals and the highest-priority items is vital. The PO’s decisions should align with this focus to ensure the team’s efforts are well-directed. 

🚀 Openness: Being open to feedback, collaboration, and continuous improvement is essential. The PO should seek input from the team, stakeholders, and customers to make informed decisions. 

In the world of Scrum, the Product Owner is the decision-maker par excellence. Their authority is grounded in accountability, and their decisions shape the product’s destiny. To excel in this role, it’s crucial to align decisions with the Scrum Values of commitment, courage, focus, and openness. By doing so, Product Owners can lead their teams to success and deliver products that truly meet customer needs. 

If you are interested in learning more about how to be an impactful Product Owner and decision maker, get in touch with Ralph today! 

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.

If you’re looking to invest in training that transforms and empowers teams to successfully adopt #scrum or #agile, and create high-performance #productdevelopment environments leveraging the agile values and principles, visit our Professional Scrum Training page.

If you would like to work with Ralph and company as an #agilecoach, #agileconsultant, or powerful change agent to get your team back on track and on the road to high-performance #agile #productdevelopment, connect with Ralph Jocham.

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