How a product owner differs from a Scrum Master or project manager

Scrum Masters and product owners both have responsibilities related to the management and optimization of the product backlog. The two roles should work together to determine what work is necessary to deliver a successful product.

However, a product owner must be attentive to both customers and the people working on the software. This reality is most visible in their work to define features and prioritize development, but also in their responsibility for a product’s vision. A Scrum Master focuses on how to prepare for and successfully execute sprints, along with how to refine processes to support team performance.

Similarly, a product owner and a project manager are both accountable for project outcomes. However, while the product owner focuses on how to produce a product that meets the needs of stakeholders and end users, the project manager is concerned with delivery commitments and effective resource utilization.

This was last updated in August 2021
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