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Ways to Understand Customer and User Needs: Introduction

Product Owners are accountable for maximizing the value of the product that the Scrum Team builds. Therefore, as a Product Owner, you want everyone in the Scrum Team, including yourself, to have a shared understanding and be aligned on who the people are that would buy (customers) and use (users) your product. 

What are their needs? 
What problem are they trying to solve with your product? 
What is valuable to them? 

By understanding its customers and users, a Scrum Team can identify opportunities, be more innovative and create products that people need and use. There are different ways to do this. In addition to engaging with customers and users at the Sprint Review, here are other approaches a Scrum Team can take:

  • User role modeling
  • Creating proto-personas
  • Observing user interactions with your product
  • Focus groups
  • Surveys
  • Experimentation and Evidence-Based Management™
  • Gathering insight from reviews
  • Visualization with an empathy map

There is no one perfect technique. Each has its benefits and limitations. In fact, many of these techniques build upon each other and should be used together.    

 


Resources:

Module
Customer outcomes are the results that customers and users experience when they use a product. This piece describes the characteristics of customer outcomes as well as how to define them.
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Video
Scrum Teams often focus so much on the work they are getting done that they lose sight of the value they may or may not be delivering to their customers. This short video explores how one Scrum Team lost their way, but got back on track by focusing on customer outcomes. (3:33 Minutes)
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By understanding its customers and users, a Scrum Team can identify opportunities, be more innovative and create products that people need and use. Here are different techniques ways to do this.