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Product Value and the Scrum Team

In Scrum, the Product Owner is accountable for maximizing the outcomes that the product will deliver to customers, thereby maximizing the value realized by the organization.

This focus on value and outcomes represents a change for organizations in which output has historically been the measure of success. Output measures things that are produced or consumed, such as features delivered or story points. Output is easy to measure, but it is of only secondary importance: The number of features delivered is irrelevant if none of those features improves the lives or capabilities of the customer. Features delivered matters only in consideration of profitability or time-to-market, but if they produced nothing of value then they are simply waste.

The Scrum Team determines its process within the Scrum Framework. This process includes defining value, delivering value, and measuring value. Although the Product Owner remains accountable, it is likely that a Product Owner needs help. The Product Owner needs input from stakeholders, including customers, users, and Development Team members. The Product Owner also depends on the Development Team to actually deliver value, so it’s important that those team members understand the outcomes that customers seek to better inform decisions.4

The Product Backlog creates transparency into the relative importance of the work that the Product Owner believes will maximize value delivered. When it’s used most effectively, it forms the foundation for a dialogue with the rest of the Scrum Team as well as stakeholders, about what is valuable.

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