Product Owner Myths

The Product Owner can be a committee

Nope! The Product Owner is always one person. Think of it like a funnel—the Product Owner funnels the work to the Team in the order things need to be completed. Only one person is the voice of the work getting to the Team. We don’t want six people feeding work into the funnel. You can only have multiple Product Owners if you have multiple products.

The Product Owner role is optional or A minor time commitment

That’s very much false! A Product Owner is an incredibly important and time-consuming role, with many different tasks. They are the liaison between the Scrum Team and the Stakeholders, they are responsible for the Product Backlog, and they are involved in every phase of the Sprint. Without an engaged Product Owner, the Team will not be developing the highest value items. 

The Product Owner isn’t in the retrospective

A Product Owner should absolutely be in the Retrospective! Remember, they’re a part of the Scrum Team! A lot times they’re excluded because they’re in conflict with the Team and the Team doesn’t want them there. But if there’s a conflict, how will you clear it if the Product Owner doesn’t attend the Retrospective? 

The Product Owner is only one who can write User Stories

Often we have Teams and Stakeholders writing User Stories, but remember that ultimately the Product Owner is accountable for them. While User Stories are not part of core Scrum, they’re popular because they’re written from the perspective of the end user. But the Backlog can be in any format.