The product owner during the sprint

Last post 09:33 am October 20, 2014
by Charles Bradley
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02:12 am October 15, 2014

I've been studying for the scrum master exam and have come across a topic about what the product owner does during the sprint.

Does the product owner give the development team feedback during the sprint of the development team progress?

I think the operative word here is "progress" and my instincts tell me that the product owner does not give feedback to the development team on their progress.

However, the sprint review is an event within the sprint and so therefore there would be an opportunity to provide feedback on progress (Against the definition of done) .

I'm a bit confused on what the assessment would be looking for as an answer here. I've seen a version of this asked for in a sample assessment and I was marked wrong in answering that the product owner does provide feedback.

If I was tested on this topic in the actual assessment do you think the answer would be in the context of either
1) its not the product owners role to give feedback on progress - they should be focused on optimising value and the development team are self managing.
or
2) yes they definitely provide feedback at the sprint review and determine what meets DOD.

03:06 pm October 15, 2014

I will answer based on real world experience and not textbook theory -

The Product Owner is engaged throughout the sprint. They answer questions on how things are supposed to function & look, as well as making any trade offs when necessary.

The Product Owner also accepts user stories within the sprint. Meaning they have been fully developed, QA has tested them and the Product Owner ensures it meets their expectations.

My teams definition of done includes passing acceptance testing by the Product Owner, making the PO part of the teams definition of done.

During the sprint review with stakeholders, the product owner should be facilitating feedback from the stakeholders.

05:20 pm October 15, 2014

> Does the product owner give the development team feedback
> during the sprint of the development team progress? 

The PO can and should provide feedback to the team regarding their progress towards the Sprint Goal. That goal is mutually defined and its achievement should therefore be seen as a collaborative activity.

The Development Team may need to replan based on this feedback, although this does not absolve them of their duty, in Sprint Planning, to elicit a credible plan that secures the confidence of the Product Owner.

06:40 pm October 15, 2014

Thanks.. that makes sense to me. Appreciate the clarifications.

09:33 am October 20, 2014

> I've seen a version of this asked for in a sample assessment

Graham,

Can you give us the exact question?

I could see how someone might read that the PO giving feedback on "progress of the sprint" might be considered as the PO violating the Dev Team's self organization. Since it was on a sample exam, it should be ok to post the exact question here.

Can you post it for us to examine closer?