The Product Owner needs to be in contact with all those that are invested in the work of the team (aka stakeholders). These stakeholders have information on the marketplace, the users’ needs, and the business needs.
The Product Owner must be able to communicate with each of these individuals whenever the need arises. If this is possible, the entire Scrum Team will have the most up to date information that will aid them in their execution of the product. If not, the team will have to wait for information and/or guess which will cause confusion, blame, distrust, and unhappy customers.
It is important that the Product Owner invite and encourage all stakeholders to attend the Sprint Reviews, be familiar with the team’s Product Backlog, and to speak openly with the team. In some settings this is as easy as extending the invitation. In other settings where the team is separated from stakeholders by layers of bureaucracy or other dependencies, then the Product Owner must establish direct and frequent communication with all relevant people. Some examples of where the Product Owner might find such people include:
- Internal business departments such as marketing, sales, professional service, finance and customer support.
- Customers, former customers and potential customers.
- Users, former users and potential users.
- Sponsors, investors and potential investors.
- Legal advisors, auditors, and regulatory representatives.
- Technical advisors, consultants and members of technical standards bodies.
Subject matter experts and researchers.The Product Owner can ask the ScrumMaster to help dissolve organizational barriers preventing open communication between stakeholders and the Product Owner.
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