What are the Differences Between Scrum Master and a Product Owner

Management
Difference between Scrum Master & Product Owner

A software development process is primarily handled by three entities – Scrum Master, a Product Owner, and Teammates. In an Agile project management system, the entire task of product development is divided among the project members, and a certain methodology is set to meet the project deadline. 

Scrum is the framework in which the project tasks are being carried out and the Scrum Master is the mentor who facilitates agile management. On the other hand, the Project Owner is concerned about the end result of the project or the finished product. The teammates are the professionals working on various sprints of the project. 

Who is a Scrum Master and what is his role

A Scrum Master is the leader of the agile development teams or can be said the mentor of the teams who helps them to organize and execute tasks. It is up to the Scrum Master to manage the exchange of information between the team members and to take necessary steps accordingly. 

A Scrum Master’s roles include:

  • Guiding team members and checking the progress of the project.
  • Providing new ideas and goals for a new product.
  • Organizing meetings and supervising his teammates working under scrum.
  • Maintaining records of each member working on the project.
  • Providing a healthy environment for the team to function well.
  • Easing up the process of a complex project by coming up with easy ideas and ensuring that there are no backlogs.
  • Ensuring that the product has progressed to the final stage and the team is ready for the next sprint. 
  • Helping the team to meet the project deadline by helping them to remove all the stumbling blocks in the process.
  • Facilitates scrum implementation.
  • Acts as the connecting bridge between the team and the organization.
  • Responsible for taking project reports from the project owner.
  • Training new members and accommodating the newbie in the existing environment.
  • Ensuring good relationships between the product owner, scrum team, project manager, organization, and others within the product eco-system. 

Who is a Product Owner and what is his role

The Product Owner in an agile development process is the position responsible for the final outcome of the project. He ensures that the project is on time, up to date with the set of priorities, there are no backlogs, and that it meets all the requirements. He is the one who represents the business and is responsible for defining the features in the product release. 

A Product Owner’s roles are:

  • Maximizing the productivity of the finished product developed by the scrum team
  • Managing any product backlog and priority features list.
  • Checking product timeline.
  • Prioritizing the work while planning the next sprint.
  • Visualizing the product goals to the various teams involved in it, including the business manager and the customers.
  • Understanding the customer requirements and setting the goals according to it to the team, scrum master, and business manager.
  • Clearing questions of the scrum team and thus motivating them to work on the project with a clear set of goals. 
  • Assisting and evaluating product development at every stage. 
  • Communicating between the stakeholder and the scrum team.
  • Taking major decisions for the proper functioning of the team in a concerned sprint.
  • Majorly handling the marketing of the product.

Differences between a Scrum Master and a Product Owner

 

POINT OF COMPARISONSCRUM MASTER PRODUCT OWNER
Primary roleA Scrum master provides guidance and educates his team members.A product owner is responsible for collecting product requirements and customers list.
Authority He is the leader of the scrum team.The actual head of the team who ensures speedy execution to maximize productivity.
Nature of workScrum Masters are highly knowledgeable professionals about the functioning of Agile Methodology and its best practices. He must also be able to communicate his knowledge to his team.A Product owner must have multiple skills to execute their job role successfully.
Skills required Leadership skills, coaching and mentoring abilities, communication skills, able collaborator, adaptability to change, accountable certifications. Constant availability, technical skills, commitment to the vision, end-user perspective, understanding of ROI
Task management 
  • Divides the task into several sprints.
  • Examines the tasks carried out by his team members. 
  • Maintains consistent productivity of his team members.
  • Maintains a healthy environment within the team by creating a good bonding among them. 
  • Makes sure that the team has understood the user’s perspective.
  • Keeps track of the product progress. 
  • Plays a pivotal role in the implementation of products.
  • Motivates his team members and maintains team spirit.
  • Is responsible for administering the entire procedure of meeting the final goal. 
  • The Scrum Master reviews the work done by the Product Owner and recommends improvements if required. 
  • Determines the priority of each sprint.
  • Is only concerned about the product backlog. 
  • Instructs and sets priorities for the developers.
  • Manages stakeholders and their objectives to meet a common goal. 
  • Deals with the user’s perspective.
  • Keeps track of the product’s timeline and deliverables. 
  • Is a vital role in the marketing of products at a higher level. 
  • Is more concentrated on creating the end products. 
  • Is responsible for creating the vision and strategizing to produce a successful product. 
  • The work done by the Scrum Master is not reviewed by the Product Owner. 

 

Conclusion

Clearly, both roles have different sets of objectives to be met and are very important positions for the execution of a project. They have a different set of benefits for the organization.

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