Following on from my previous post (Considerations for a new Scrum Master) this blog aims to help those just starting out as a Product Owner.

Like my previous blog – the following items are in no particular order of preference.

The aim is to outline some of the key aspects that are probably worthwhile you considering as you get started on your Product Owner journey.  

Know your product

Make sure you know just what your product is, what problem(s) you are trying to solve and for whom

A product is a vehicle to deliver value. It has a clear boundary, known stakeholders, well-defined users or customers. A product could be a service, a physical product, or something more abstract.” [The Scrum Guide 2020]

Generate a Business Model
Take time to explore something like the Business Model Canvas or the Lean Canvas in order to try and ensure that others around you begin to understand your product and its unique value propositions

Create and share your Product Vision
Your product vision should inspire those that are working towards achieving that long term goal
Keep it short, focussed and to the point – this will help others understand and remember it
Explore some of the many online templates available to help get you going
Pull in others to help you create your product vision – don’t feel that you have to do this alone
Aim to communicate and share your product vision at every opportunity that you have (as a minimum think about the core Scrum events)

Create a Product Goal
This should be an intermediate goal acting as a step towards your longer term product vision
Make sure it is measurable otherwise how will you ever truly know that you have achieved it
Ensure it is well understood by your Scrum Team(s) and wider organisation
Remember that the intent is to achieve or abandon a product goal before then moving onto the next one

Start to build your Product Backlog
Your active product goal should be in your product backlog but note that not everything in your product backlog has to directly relate to your product goal
Get others involved and consider exploring techniques like user story mapping to help get started

Identify key stakeholders
Consider running a brainstorming activity with everyone that you think would have an opinion in order to build a stakeholder map:

For the stakeholders that you have identified then consider placing them on a “2X2 power-interest grid” in order to know how best to involve them:

Make use of your Scrum Master

Remember that Scrum Masters are there to help you as a Product Owner. Ask for their help and support around product backlog management and conversations/collaboration with stakeholders (particularly around facilitation). 

Make use of your Developers
Try to make sure that you don’t spend all day every day just gathering requirements, uploading them into some web-based tool, adding as much detail as you can and including things like acceptance criteria and then handing such items off to the developers. That’s clearly not a hugely valuable use of your time plus is not enabling true business agility. Get the rest of the Scrum Team involved to take more responsibility around product backlog management and remember that it will always be the shared understanding through conversation and collaboration that is most important.

Metrics, metrics, metrics
Consider which metrics make sense to measure in your context. Without metrics then how do you know that what you are doing is the right thing? How will you know it’s valuable? How will you know when to try something different?
Take a look at Evidence Based Management and begin to understand how the 4 key value areas relate to each other plus explore some of the candidate metrics that you might consider for your product (but remember this is not an exclusive list of all possible metrics).

Experiment, experiment, experiment
Consider what experiments you might run in order to better understand whether to pivot or persevere
Try to adopt the mindset and behaviours of an entrepreneur

Focus on shortening the feedback loop
Shorter feedback loops accelerate learning. Up until releasing then everything is simply a hypothesis. Remember therefore that you need to release in order to validate and potentially realise value.

Continue your Product Owner learning
Access the myriad of excellent learning opportunities available via the Product Owner Learning Path on

I hope you find these thoughts useful as you begin on your Product Owner journey.

If you decide that you would like to come along to a Professional Scrum Product Owner class then feel free to reach out to me at or take a look at our course schedule. We offer both public and private courses to fit your needs.

Also let me know your thoughts on the above….what’s missing….what else would you add for new Product Owners?

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