How Does Scrum Master Serve to the Product Owner? | SM Services to PO

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With an objective to enable continuous learning and progression for our learners, PremierAgile curated several learning articles in the areas of Agile, Scrum, Product Ownership, Scaling, Agile Leadership, Tools & Frameworks, latest market trends, new innovations etc...

How Does Scrum Master Serve the Product Owner?

One of the key responsibilities of a Scrum Master in an organization is to ensure that the Product Owner maximizes the Product's value. To achieve this, the Scrum Master aids the Product Owner by ensuring they are aware of prioritizing the Product Backlog. Of course, it is the Product Owner's responsibility to maximize the Product's value. However, in this endeavor, a Scrum Master can help by guiding the PO by applying what he/she has learned from past experiences.

Techniques Applied:

One service a Scrum Master provides to the Product Owner is to guide with maximizing the Product's value. To help the POs with this endeavor, a Scrum Master can apply techniques like Will Not Have, Should Have, Could Have, and Must Have. The items under Must Have are placed right on the top of the backlog items. In turn, the Product can achieve the utmost value.

List of Services:

So, are you wondering how the Scrum Master serves the Product Owner? If so, here is a list of services offered by a Scrum Master to a Product Owner:

  • Finds techniques for the Product Owner to follow for effective Product Backlog management.
  • They help the Product Owner to gain a clear understanding of the need for concise and clear Product Backlog items.
  • Scrum Master helps with understanding product planning in an empirical atmosphere.
  • Makes sure that the Product Owner arranges the Product Backlog so that the utmost value is achievable.
  • It helps Product Owners understand and practice agility
  • Facilitates Scrum Events as required or requested.

Key Responsibilities of Scrum Master and Product Owner:

A Product Owner and a Scrum Master are two crucial roles in the Scrum Software team. Both these roles in a Scrum organization aim at creating a viable product with the help of the best practices of Scrum. Both of them work in varied areas of the product. However, they overlap in some of their skills. In different areas of the product, the Product Owner and the Scrum Master will have to collaborate closely, and both of them should take steps to ensure that this collaboration happens smoothly.

Scrum Master Vs Product Owner:

There are chances of disputes between a Scrum Master and a Product Owner. Particularly, disputes can arise when the roles are not adequately established and clarified. Of course, you know that the Scrum Master can help a Product Owner in many ways. However, it is better to understand how the roles of these two professionals vary:

When you take the case of a Scrum Product Owner, they will be responsible for maximizing the product value that Developers work. The method followed by a Product Owner for maximizing value differs from one organization to another. It also differs based on individuals and Scrum Teams.

When it comes to a Scrum Master, they will be responsible for ensuring the success of a product. They ensures it by assisting the Product Owner and the Developers with the proper process to create a successful target and establish Agile principles.

How Should A Product Owner and A Scrum Master Collaborate?

People in these two positions overlap. They should be in a position to collaborate with their peers well. The Product Owner has greater authority in any organization than in both positions. When they work together, their goal will be to create a viable product using Agile methodologies. Both individuals should take every step to achieve the common goal, that they collaborate and work closely in the areas listed below:

  • Facilitating meetings
  • Clarifying the vision of the Product
  • Making sure of cross-dependencies with other teams
  • Improving the morale of the team
  • Improving team communication
  • Backlog Refinement

Regarding the most effective team layouts, the Scrum Master and the Product Owner are natural partners in achieving a mutually beneficial and cohesive tag-team effort to get the best possible outcome from the team's efforts. With expertise in Scrum principles and practices, it is the responsibility of the Scrum Master to make sure that the collaboration with the Product Owner happens smoothly.

Ways Scrum Masters Support Product Owners:

Here is a detailed overview of the Scrum Master service to Product Owners:

Takes  Part in Defining The Needs of a Product:

The scope definition for any product should be done with the utmost care and defined after thoroughly understanding clients' needs. This is the most delicate phase in any product. The reason is that only the scope of the product provides the foundation for all other phases to follow in the product. If this phase becomes complicated for the Product Owner, they can undoubtedly get help from the Scrum Master. Even the Scrum Master will be interested in helping the Product Owner get the product scope statement done correctly.

Make Teams Understand the Scope of the Product:

The role of Scrum Master does not stop with helping the Product Owner establish the product scope. Yes, he/she is also responsible for communicating the goal and scope of the product to the team members. Even the Scrum Master will discuss the value of the product with the Product Owner in delivering the product within the agreed-upon time. When the team understands the product’s requirements, the members will start preparing themselves with the required techniques and tools for delivering the product on time.

Effective Backlog Management:

This is one of the key services offered by a Scrum Master to a Product Owner. Indeed, the Product Owner is responsible for creating and managing the Product Backlog. Nevertheless, the Scrum Master will provide all the possible help to ensure that the Product Backlog remains up-to-date and groomed.

The Product Backlog means a list of items with the order of priority to be followed by the team. When the team follows this order of preference, it can ensure that the product features are developed and delivered to the customers. Here, the Scrum Master will help the Product Owner with the identification and prioritization of features and make sure that the Developers follow the backlog and work on delivering as per the order of preference. Even the Scrum Master helps the Product Owner facilitate Scrum Events and product planning.

Facilitates Effective Relationship Between Product Owner and Stakeholders:

One service a Scrum Master provides to the Product Owner is to establish and maintain good relationships with other team members, including the ordering party, Developers, and integrators, to name a few. Here, the role of the Scrum Master is to act as a guardian and observer of the positive relationships established by the Product Owner. Further, the Scrum Master will ensure that each Stakeholder and team member gets involved in the process. For the Product Owner, the Scrum Master tries to educate, coach, and train the client to be invested and involved in the product realization. The person investing in the product should be present during strategic planning, user acceptance tests, and Sprint Review, to name a few.

Product Planning in Empirical Atmosphere:

The Scrum Master service to the Product Owner extends to helping the Product Owner with product planning in an empirical atmosphere. In this atmosphere, work and improvement are guided by experience and experiment. With this experience, a Scrum Master guides not only the Product Owner but also the entire product development team with not only planning but also developing. The planning is, of course, done by the Product Owner. Even the PO takes care of the backlog preparation. Here, they get help from the Scrum Master to carry out the work more efficiently.

Helps with Practicing Agile:

At Sprint Planning, the team will be busy with the delivery of the story points. Sometimes, the team does not communicate with the Product Owner to fully comprehend the requirements. But, according to the Agile values, the team should pay more attention to the individual and communication. Here, the Scrum Master is responsible for assisting the team members with removing hindrances by asking more questions when needed. In this way, the Scrum Master, besides following Agile practice, also guides the team by practicing Agile methodology.


Not only the Product Owner but the entire organization gets a lot of help and guidance from the Scrum Master to ensure timely delivery of products.




Is a passionate learner and blogger on Agile, Scrum and Scaling areas. She has been following and practicing these areas for several years and now converting those experiences into useful articles for your continuous learning.