What Should a Product Owner Achieve in the First 90 days?

In any Scrum Team, the Product Owner plays a  maintenance pivotal role in ensuring successful product delivery to customers through supporting, monitoring and steering their team in the direction they need to go. Without a Product Owner, teams risk losing sight of their end goal, have communication and expectation issues with Stakeholders and customers, as well as damage to productivity and overall performance. At the end of the day, Product Owners must ensure and achieve maximum value for the organisation by collaborating closely with the Development Team and ensuring all product requirements are defined and executed on time. Doing due diligence to achieve this as a Product Owner therefore involves taking accountability for your actions and your responsibilities, as well as taking an active role in furthering your understanding and knowledge of Scrum and Product Ownership so that you can better serve your team, the organisation and the customers.  

But if you are familiar with the world of Product Ownership and not exactly sure where to start or what to do, do not sweat! Your first day as a Product Owner will naturally feel intimidating as you step into a role where all eyes are on you and people are depending on you. However with some basic checkpoints and steps, you can work with confidence knowing that you are staying on the right track. And a really great way to remain accountable and proactive in this role is to follow a guideline on what you should achieve as a Product Owner within your first thirty days.  

The 90-Day Rule  

If you have worked with people before, I am sure you have heard them say many times that they actually do not know what they are doing and are just learning along the way. I have met many people like this during my career and personally I feel that this is wrong. I think this is the wrong attitude to have because it is always important to have a clear point of where you want to go and be working towards a particular vision. So with that being said, here are some of the things I think all Product Owners should be able to achieve within their first 90 days on the job.  

Number One: Have a Good Product Vision.  

As stated above it is always always good to have a vision on where you want to go.  Having a good Product Vision and then being able to communicate that effectively to the rest of your team as well as the Stakeholders will help your team align and work together towards the same goal. In Scrum, the Product Vision refers to the future state of a product that you and your team wish to arrive at and ideally serves as a point of reference for your product and the common objectives within the team. Having a clearly defined Product Vision will not only help you make sense of what it is you are actually doing but as you move along, you will be able to break it up into smaller parts, leading to a more developed plan that can be used in later projects.  

 So with that being said, a Product Vision answers:  

 🚀A definition of done. 

🚀How the final product should function.  

🚀Who it is being built for and how it addresses their needs.  

Once you have that, the next thing you need to look at is what the ‘Definition of Done’ looks like.  

Number Two: Definition of Done 

A Definition of Done is an agreed-upon set of items that must be completed before a project or user story can be considered complete. This is applied consistently and serves as a guideline for the difference between ‘in-progress’ and ‘done.’ The benefits of having a clear definition of done is that it can help ensure that teams are aligned across stages of the production process and that they can continue working towards these objectives even without the presence of the Product Owner. Determining whether a team is meeting the definition of done is typically looked at in the Sprint Review, and is opportunity for teams and the Product Owner to review their work processes and whether they are on the right track.  

Number Three: Sprint Review  

Last but not least if you want to ensure your team is continually meeting their targets and remaining motivated, it is important to conduct meaningful Sprint Reviews. This is because if your Sprint Review is boring, lacks purpose or direction, nobody will want to come and the result of that will be a demotivated team. So ditch the simple powerpoint slides and use the opportunity to collaborate transparency with your team, analyse your definition of done and collectively identify any barriers against achieving your goals.  

Value is Our Target 

In the end our focus is on our customers and delivering high-product quality to them continually. But without a strong healthy foundation which is the team or the organisation, this cannot be achieved.  


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

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 #scrum.org 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 https://effectiveagile.com/agile-scrum-trainings/ 

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, visit https://effectiveagile.com/agile-transformation/ 

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