Great Scrums Need Great Product Owners

Ilio and my paper is available on the IEEE library site as part of the proceedings of the 41st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS).

Great Scrums Need Great Product Owners: Unbounded Collaboration and Collective Product Ownership


Scrum describes a separation of roles; the product owner is accountable for achieving business objectives and the team for technical execution. A pragmatic and collegial relationship between a product owner and team can satisfy the definition of collaboration and honor roles while barely tapping or actually working against the potential of a project and its participants. This paper surveys literature to describe different forms of collaboration, to establish that deep, unbounded collaboration is at the heart of agile values, and that partnerships of high trust and shared risk lead to value and innovation. Finally, this paper incorporates a real- world example of a product owner who, while remaining accountable to the outcome, shared ownership over vision, priorities and execution with her Scrum/XP development team.

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About Ken Judy

I am an executive manager, software developer, father and husband trying to do more good than harm. I am an agile practitioner. I say this fully aware I say nothing. Sold as a tool to solve problems, agile is more a set of principles that encourage us to confront problems. Broad adoption of the jargon has not resulted in wide embrace of these principles. I strive to create material and human good by respecting co-workers, telling truth to employers, improving my skills, and caring for the people affected by the software I help build.