Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is the Product Owner part of the scrum team?

Michael James over at Danube picked up a discussion about whether the product owner should be considered part of the team. At first I thought he was saying no, but as I absorbed his points, I believe he was saying the PO is part of the team. Schwaber has come up with the term "scrum development team" to refer to the team without the PO. This point concerns me a bit... do we need other terms as well such as "scrum analyst team" and "scrum test team"? Why do we want to silo the team off?

The team is the team. It's everyone involved to deliver business value to the customer.

Not every member of the team is committed at the same level and the same way. How team members interact with their peers is important, and different people have different levels of authority when they speak. PO's have a stronger customer and market voice, usability and analyst roles have a stronger requirements and user voice, and developers have a stronger technical voice. But all voices impact each other so excluding any one from the group can be detrimental. Everyone on the team has to understand how to work as a team and not behave in ways that are harmful to the team. Just because a PO is a manager doesn't mean you should treat them that much differently when in the team circle.

What do you think?

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