Product Owners… Servant leaders! our first line of defence.

Scrum advocates our Scrum Master’s are the shield for the team, I have lived with that for many years… But for the past few I’ve been advocating a slightly different approach.

Sure Scrum Masters are the shield, however if it comes to that our problems have already come too close! The Uruk-hai are already at the Gates of Hornburg! We need them dealt with further upstream!

The defence of the team (including the Product owner and Scrum Master)… specially high performing teams I’ve worked with starts with the Product Owner!

A high performing team is a Product Owner’s secret sauce and Product Owner’s work within that fold not on the edges or outside it.

A good Product Owner defends, value, product vision, backlog and the team directly. No two ways about it! They are the tip of the spear!

Product Owners by nature of their role hold more influence in an organisation than Scrum Masters, they manage upstream demands both for features in the Product backlog as well as demand for the high performing team from other Product Owners! Let’s face it if you work with a team that bats 1000 for the whole season … well everyone want’s a piece of that team.

If you happen to be a Scrum Master who’s shielding the team from a Product Owner then you ought to be coaching the Product Owner to be the shield and pivot their mindset towards Servant Leadership! As a Scrum Master you’ve gotta other challenges to deal with rather than battling it out with your Product Owner.

Where a Product Owner and their Scrum Master’s relationship is adversarial – that’s a dysfunctional team!

For Product Owners reading this, look up Servant Leadership – that’s what you are, should be. This isn’t a post on Servant Leadership… you can read up on it here, here and here!

#Agile #ServantLeadership #ProductOwner #ScrumMaster #Agility

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