The tips for a quick start as a Scrum Product Owner

Well, recently I said it: ‘as a Scrum team we realize the highest value in the shortest possible time’.

That elevator pitch is also too good not to use, right? As a Product Owner, I also thought that I would have to determine that value together with my client. Because only then can something be prioritized and realized together with my team.

Success only comes when I and my client have the same idea of value, I know the users of the product and … have confidence in the Scrum team.

Pheww, get on it!

Determine the idea of value together with your clients

Euros, dollars, dukes, drops, flaps. Well, if only it were that straightforward.

Where one company expresses its most important value in turnover or net profit, another does, such as the NS , that in values such as safety, pleasure and affordability of services.

Still others, such as startups like Felyx , express their main value in growing their user base as quickly as possible: the number of customers.

Because how else do you cope with all those other providers of electric scooters that you see on the sidewalk everywhere in cities nowadays? For such companies, rapid growth in their market is more important than making an immediate profit: profit will come later, many customers first. As an end user, you do not want a lot of different apps on your phone to use such a scooter, so your app must be the first

Tip : Don’t delay discussing the idea of value. Discuss the idea of ‘value’, find words for it and write them down. They make it easier to quantify the value and link numbers to it.

Tip : Also describe the idea of value in the Product Vision of your project. In this way, it comes to life even more and the idea immediately becomes an inseparable part of your new product. Do you remember how handy it is to make a Product Vision? If not, read one of the following blogs where I will tell you more about it.

But isn’t the idea of value also very much about end users?

Absolutely and ten points to you! You may then have wonderful ideas about the added value together with your client; as long as it does not meet the needs of your customers, you will not go game changing create a product or service.
Therefore, know what your user feels and thinks and knows what he wants. Not just today, but also tomorrow, the day after and beyond: needs change. “Accelerated information propagation,” remember? Following that changing need is the best way to keep up.

Tip : Therefore, look for and talk to users of your product as soon as possible. And yep, those aren’t your closest, well-meaning colleagues.
Think carefully about how you want to communicate with those users. By addressing a room? Do you want to send them questionnaires and read the research results? Or, more directly, do you want to sit around the table with them to look at them and feel what they think of your new product ideas?

And how do you ensure the highest value in the shortest possible time?

The short version: By ranking everything that needs to be realized by value: the value it adds for your clients and the users. This way, the parts of your new product that deliver the highest value are added to the ‘wish pile’. And yes, the parts that deliver less value are thus lower on that pile. First come, first served: the items on top of the stack are more likely to be realized by the Scrum team than the items below. And yes, that stack is called the Prioritized Product Backlog in Scrum terminology.
Tip : For now, remember that one of your main responsibilities as a Product Owner is defining and maintaining that stack. And read my next blog, in which I give some tips on how to determine that priority effectively.

Have faith in your Scrum team

As a Product Owner you determine in close cooperation with the customer and your client what needs to be made and with what priority. But how your product is made is up to your Scrum team. The more you are able to trust your team members and leave the how to them, the faster they can take responsibility and the better they can develop the new product.

In practice, however, I still regularly come across Product Owners who want to let go of the how, but secretly still keep control. How do they do that? By simply naming too many acceptance criteria. And you know: the more acceptance criteria you set, the less space you give your Scrum team to determine the how.

Tip : So be aware of your possible desire for control. And let it go as much as possible. And oh yeah, take another look Frozen : ‘let it go, let it flow’!


As a Product owner you are the representative of the customer and the users and thus the embodiment of the new product or service: radiate that and be the true owner of product vision and value. Be enthusiastic and involved with your team and support them where necessary in the development of your vision.

Vision, Enthusiasm, Value, Prioritization and Letting Go. Yup, no one said it would be easy. It’s damn fun to do, put it on!


By: Merijn Visman