Product Owner Role In Daily Standup

Product Owner Role In Daily Standup

One person who’s a middle man between the Development Team and the stakeholders in Scrum projects is the Product Owner. Product Owner reports directly to the stakeholders and is responsible for boosting the results of the product worked by the Development Team. He/She is one of the most important and senior members of a Scrum project. They decide the Sprint Goal for the team and commands it through the Scrum Master. 

One of the key functions of the Product Owner is to manage the Product Backlog effectively. They do this by making the order of the backlog items and ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and understood by the whole team. All the major decisions of any Scrum project are taken by the Product Owner and every team member should respect and follow his orders. 

A Product Owner is always a single person and not a committee of members. This is because any Scrum project does not allow a whole lot of members to be part of it. If any stakeholder wants a change in the Product Backlog and wants to prioritize something he will have to convince the Product Owner for that. 

If he feels it to be right and helpful for the project he will make that change. Any final major decision is always the Product Owner’s call. Now the big question, what is the role of the Product Owner in daily standup? Or is it really necessary for the Product Owner to attend Daily Scrum? For that, you first need to understand what is the daily standup.


What is Daily Standup & Can a Product Owner be part of It? 

The daily standup is a meeting held between the whole Scrum team of which the Product Owner is not part. The team involves all the Developers and the Scrum Master. The daily standup also goes by the name of Daily Scrum. This meeting takes place each day of the Sprint to discuss the progress made by the Developers in that Sprint and is there something that is slowing their work. 

The Daily Scrum takes place for 15 minutes and never more than that. The main purpose of this meeting is to keep the progress of the Sprint transparent in front of the whole team, to monitor the daily progress of that Sprint, and issues coming across the workflow of the Sprint. 

Can a Product Owner Join The Daily Scrum?

Do take note that the Product Owner is not a participant in the daily standup. But, at the same time, he is not prohibited from joining the daily standups. A Product Owner can join the daily standups as many times as he wants or desires, no one will stop him from doing that but he is suggested not to participate in the meeting. 

He can join the meeting as an observer and can take notes of the progress and risks discussed by the team. He should let the whole team put forward their daily reports and let each member raise queries about the Sprints. It is better for a Product Owner to be quiet for the whole while and speak only if required and that too once everyone has completed their daily progress reports. 

In no circumstances the daily standup can be extended more than its fixed time which is 15 minutes as Scrums are always time-bound projects where every minute is important. Extended time by any Product Owner can be utilized by the Development Team in developing the product and one should not take that thing for granted for his own sake. 

A Product Owner should notify the team on prior notice that he will be joining daily standups of the team so the team should be prepared for his presence in the meeting. With the availability of the Product Owner, Daily Scrum team members have the opportunity to track the daily progress of the Sprint and check whether it is running as scheduled or not. 

Is Joining A Daily Scrum Beneficial for The Product Owner

As it has never been made official for the Product Owner to be mandatorily part of the daily standups people have not given a thought to the benefits of his presence in the meeting. Many Developers do not feel that daily standups are a place for Product Owners who have zero knowledge of software development and will not be able to contribute to the meeting in any manner. 

They might be right about him having less knowledge about software development or how the team works but they are wrong about the idea that he cannot contribute to the meeting in any manner. The presence of the Product Owner in every daily standup can be beneficial for the team and the project both. One just needs to have the eye to see its benefits and will surely consider this idea in his next Scrum Project.


Role of Product Owner in Daily Scrums

Issues Resolved On the Meeting Table Only

In Scrum meetings, Product Owner presence allows Developers to tell about facing any obstacle in their way of work and can directly convey it to the Product Owner. Usually, if a Developer comes across any problem which is causing harm to his work has to complain about it to the Scrum Master, and Scrum Master takes it to the Product Owner. Then the Product Owner starts to work on resolving the issue.

This whole process takes a while but when the Product Owner is available in front of you in daily standup then while sharing your progress you can also tell him about the obstacle in your way. This way you get to avoid the chain to pass information and the Product Owner will probably resolve your issue right there. It saves a lot of time and energy for Developers, Scrum Master, and Product Owner at the same time. 

Complete Transparency

Generally, with a Sprint Goal a Product Owner that the team is supposed to deliver the item in the given amount of time but is not aware of the daily progress of the Sprint. But when a Product Owner joins the daily standups then he gets to track the daily progress the team is making towards the Sprint Goal. This helps the Product Owner to understand whether the team is working at the right pace or not. 

He also gets to calculate the probability of the Sprint Goal being achieved in the given time or not. His presence makes the whole work completely transparent to everyone and he can also give daily updates of the work to the stakeholders to make them understand that project is working on its expected schedule. 

When joining Daily Scrums the Product Owner can also make notes of the progress which will help him in planning out the Sprint Goal for the next Sprint if the pace of the team is faster or slower than the estimated pace. 

Proper Inspection

The Product Owner doesn’t need to run inspections over the work of the Development Team but doing so would not harm the project in any sense. Product Owner’s presence can work as the inspection of the daily work done by the team and make sure there are no loopholes in the work from the Developers which might harm the Sprint or the project later. 

Attending Daily Scrums helps in avoiding such risks and the Product Owner gets to inspect the daily work of each Developer up-close. When each team member is giving his daily report the Product can sit back, listen and observe each of them, take notes and try analyzing his efforts. This way the Product Owner will have an idea whether he is working his best or there is still space for him to make more efforts with each day. 

A Helping Hand to Scrum Master

The presence of the Product Owner in every daily standup is quite helpful for the Scrum Master. A Product Owner in daily Standup can release Scrum Master from many small duties. In every daily standup, the Product should sit next to Scrum Master and help him out to draw the track report of the daily progress. 

Once the Product Owner himself is present there the Scrum Master does not have to listen to the Development Team’s queries as they can directly put them in front of the Product Owner. With such responsibilities chopped off from the head of the Scrum Master, he can use that time into more important parts of the Sprint and can find ways to make the Sprint more efficient. 


Wrapping Up

As it has never mentioned in Scrum Guide that the Product Owner must be part of Daily Scrums but it has also not stopped him from doing so. For the Product Owner, daily standup meetings bring multiple benefits for the whole project and improve the efficiency of the workflow. This is the reason why many of the Product Owners have now started adapting this idea widely and they somehow manage to pull time from their schedule to attend Daily Scrums.