Hi guys, Anatoly here from Define Agile. Today we’re talking about the difference between a Product Owner and a Scrum Master. A lot of times people are confused between the roles and responsibilities of those two. Sometimes Scrum Masters are taking the role of Product Owners and Product Owners are taking the role of a Scrum Master. So, I’m here to figure out what exactly is the difference and why people confuse them so much.
Let’s start with the Product Owner. Product Owner represents the stakeholder. The role of Product Owner is to go into the field of stakeholders, figure out the requirements, make sure they are clear, and then put those requirements into stories that the Development Team or any other teams can work on. Also, the Product Owner’s job is to make sure that the backlog, which is a collection of stories, is prioritized so that the team has enough work to do and every unit of work they take has everything they need to complete it.
Let’s go to the Scrum Master now.
The role of the Scrum Master is to help the team to understand Scrum. The role of the Scrum Master is to promote Agile, facilitate meetings, make sure that the processes are good, make sure that the team is healthy, they trust each other, figure out the ways on how to make the team more efficient in terms of processes, make sure to optimize things that don’t work, and support the team in anything they need.
So as you might see, those are two very different roles, and if one person starts to do both of them, most of the time it doesn’t really work. If you don’t have a dedicated Scrum Master, my suggestion would be instead of making a Product Owner a Scrum Master, to make one of the developer Scrum Master or make a rotating Scrum Master role in your Development Team because I find it to be much more efficient than to have a Scrum Master and Product Owner in one person.