04- Scrum Master at the service of the Product Owner


1- Responsibilities of the Product Owner:   

In early versions of Scrum, Jeff Sutherland described the role of the Product Owner this way:
The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing return on investment (ROI) by identifying product features, 
translating them into a prioritized list of items, deciding which should be at the top of the list for the next Sprint, 
and continuing to prioritize and refine the list. The Product Owner is responsible for profit and loss for the product, 
assuming it is a commercial product.
Scrum Papers page 15

The 2017 version of the Scrum guide presents this role with a wider reading prism:
The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the development 
Scrum Guide 2017

The notion of return on investment is very clear and perfectly measurable, but being reserved for commercial products, it has been replaced by that of "product value". On the other hand, as soon as the product has at least one commercial aspect, this notion of return on investment must be considered as an objective of the project, or failing that, as a constraint.

• As a business oriented person (represents the interests of users), Product Owners should communicate effectively with the customer (the inevitable success factor in every project), and use the information to keep the Product Backlog updated with all the changes.
• The Product Owner is a natural person and must have the power to make all decisions about the product
• Management of the Product Backlog. For exemple: prioritized list of items (usually user stories) that the customer expects from the project

2- The services of the Scrum Master:

The Scrum guide provides a non-exhaustive list of actions that the Scrum Master can take to best serve the Product Owner:

• Ensure that the objectives, scope and domain of the product are understood by all members of the Scrum team in the best possible way.
• Find techniques for effective management of the Product Backlog.
• Help the Scrum team understand the need for the clear and concise elements of the Product Backlog.
• Understand product planning in an empirical context.
• Make sure the Product Owner knows how to organize the Product Backlog to maximize value.
• Understand and implement agility.
• Facilitate Scrum events when requested or necessary.

To best serve the Product Owner, the Scrum Master must know his role, his scope of responsibility and action, 
his position in the company and his relationship with the other actors of the project, whether internal or external 
to the Scrum team.