Why Product owner has to say ‘No’

Product owner






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One of the key roles in Scrum is that of the Product Owner (PO) who manages the product backlog and helps decides on the product functionality. This is a challenging role where the successful execution of responsibilities is pivotal to the project success or failure.

It’s easier for people to say ‘yes’ than ‘no’ for the now because it mitigates the prospect of short-term conflict. However, saying ‘no’ to the team, to the client or the Scrum Master, is one of the PO’s most important duties.

There many times when the Product Owner has to say ‘No’ such as:

1. When the team wants to force the client to use a technology, platform, architecture or design that it believes to be ‘technically suitable’ but has no value to the client –

2. When the client wants something that is clearly unfeasible with the given schedule and resources

3. When the Scrum Master representing the team wants to change the scope for the project.

4. When the team decided for themselves what should be excluded from the project – The product owner has to remind the team who is in charge of business concerns.

5. When developers want to work on an overkill solution for a problem – every time the easiest solution is the best approach

6. When the team wants to investigate during several Sprints without guaranteeing practical results – there is a time to investigate which has to be short.

7. When the team and Scrum Master want to skip demos – the product owner has to check what is the progress about the product.

8. When the team want to exclude the PO from all meetings because they believe they already understand the product well enough – The presence of PO is vital in the meeting to solve business doubts or to validate the demos.

9. When the client wants to communicate directly with the team by-passing the PO – The PO is the customer representative.


Last but not least, as Product Owner you have to be honest with your client and as far as I know it is impossible to do everything in one Sprint!!!


Mario Lucero

Mario Lucero

I am all about helping companies to adopt agile as methodology in Chile. Why? I believe many organizations think that agile is not for Chilean companies because of Chilean culture is totally different from i.e. USA culture but I worked with Chilean professionals who after using agile realized it is feasible to implement it. Agile works in small and large projects and there are many evidences which demonstrate this.

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