The Role of the Product Owner

The Role of the Product Owner

As Agile Scrum Masters, we are typically faced with many questions. Here we are focusing on the questions asked around the Product Owner’s role. Following this, we will be addressing a few of the most frequently asked questions in a series of posts related to other topics when implementing agile.


What is the role of the Product Owner in the sprint boundary meetings?


During a Stand-up: Product Owner is allowed to attend. He/she typically attend the stand-up to be available to the team to clarify anything on requirements if raised as an impediment during the stand-up. After 15 min or when the stand-up is completed he/she can then attend to these questions.

During Grooming: In the Grooming session the Product Owner priorities the Sprint back log with the team. He/she ensures that there is enough detail / requirements on a story for it to be estimated by the scrum team.

During Planning session 1: Part one of the sprint planning meeting is a review of the product backlog. During this part of the meeting, the team will ask the Product Owner to clarify questions and the Product owner and Team will negotiate “What” will be taken into a sprint. By the end of sprint planning session one, the team will select a sprint goal: a one-sentence description of the overall outcome of the sprint.

During Planning session 2: During session two of the sprint planning meeting, the team decides “THE HOW”. In this meeting the team will begin breaking up the product backlog items into work tasks. He/she should be available during this meeting but does not have to be in the room. If the product owner does remain in the room, the Scrum Master needs to take charge of this part of the meeting, keeping the team focused and free to explore possibilities without being limited by the product owner’s own ideas or opinions. The outcome of session two planning will be in the Sprint backlog.

Review session: The review is meant to look at what has been produced and still remains to be done. Here the Developers can show stakeholders, Product Owners and the team what they have done. In this meeting the Product owner has the right to either reject or accept a particular piece of work.

Sprint Retro meeting: The Product Owner is only allowed to attend the Retro if the team has asked for him/her to join in on the session.


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Using lists in Trello for Agile software development


Trello is a so-called horizontal product, meaning that it can be used by a wide variety of people, solving a wide range of problems. It is also well-suited for smaller agile software development projects. 


One of the key features of Trello is the ability to create custom lists (swimlanes). Cards (which can typically contain user stories) can then be attached to custom lists.

Examples of lists

The flexibility of Trello lists can be illustrated by some examples.

Video Production


Writing a Thesis


Planning Art Projects


Adding a new list

Step 1  – close the sidebar:


Step 2 – click on Add List:


Step 3 – add List Name and save:


Step 4 – drag list to the appropriate position on the board.


For more information on how Trello can be used to fit your agile project needs, do a Google search for ‘Trello agile swimlanes’.

[list_icon color=”blue” type=”icon_arrow”]




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Measuring Agile readiness throughout the Scrum Delivery Life Cycle

At Agileware Studios we have 3 definitions we use to measure agile readiness and work as it passes through an agile scrum delivery life cycle. This assists in measuring agile readiness and ensuring that the right quality of work is delivered throughout the agile life cycle for delivery.

Ready for development

For requirements to be moved into a sprint for implementation we need to ensure that the requirements apply to a certain standard. Requirements need to be clear enough, contain the right level of details and specify the acceptance criteria for delivering the requirement inline with the described business requirement. The implementation team, be it developers or marketers, have the right to refuse work into the sprint if the work does not comply with the definition of “Ready for development” or “Ready for implementation” (non-IT speak).

Definition of done

For the team to deliver a user story within a sprint we need to define the key aspects that determines that the user story has been delivered according to the initial requirement received by the team. Here we also include certain quality checks to ensure we deliver quality software. 


We are now happy to deploy the software into production. This is a final check on quality to ensure that we have done all that we are supposed to do as an agile team and that we have checked all the boxes on clinching a successful deployment.


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Best computer programming language to learn how to code

With today’s rapid pace of technological advances it is becoming more and more important to understand computers beyond typing letters in Word and playing Solitaire instead of working. But where does a complete stranger to programming start?


I can only imagine how confusing it must be for a person with no background in computing to figure out how to start programming. The web is scattered with blogs and articles written by software developers for software developers. For a completely new person the terminology is foreign, it must feel like reading hieroglyphics. Terms like Java, JavaScript, C, C++, C#, Ruby, Python, Erlang, Database, Caching, Functional Programming, Object Orientated Paradigm, etc. are used all over the place.

Programming in the Past

When I started to program I visited the library and started in a language called BASIC. I wrote simple programs that took text as input and spitted out more text as output. It was easy to get started and the more I learned the more I could do. I moved on to Pascal (programming language) and then got more serious with C++, Java and eventually started loving Ruby. In between I learnt languages that interest me and every language influences the way I think as a developer and makes it easier to learn another language. 

Programming in the present

10 years ago BASIC was a good place to start to learn how to code but time has moved on and we have a plethora of new exciting languages and tools to teach us how to program. Just take a look at your nearest Google result page ( Sites like, and https:// are all big efforts to make learning to code easy.

Today I wouldn’t recommend learning BASIC for a starter language, as it is not as accessible as it used to be and we don’t live in a world of DOS anymore. We live in a world of Windows, Mac and if you’re hardcore enough, Linux. We live in a world where we’re always close to an Internet connection. So what is the best language to learn to code in 2013?

Today’s BASIC is called JavaScript!

Just like BASIC, JavaScript is already on your computer, you can start writing JavaScript code without ever having to install any complicated tools or to learn how to use them. You can start off with a tutorial from the web, a book (I recommend or one of the online courses and instantly start developing programs. You can start coding right now, in your web browser. They will be simple and might seem stupid but nothing beats the feeling that you are in control of your own computer and if you keep learning more you could push your work to billions of people’s computers, mobile phones, tablets and anything connected to the internet. You can change the world.

Start to code now – learn programming

If you stumbled on this article and want to learn to code go to and learn JavaScript from their interactive learning course. Once you have learnt JavaScript you can create anything you can imagine, you will by then know enough about programming that you will be able to evaluate other languages and make your own decision on whether you want to learn a new language or take over the world with your first love. You will be a developer and part of being a developer is a never-ending quest for knowledge.

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