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Scrum Mastery: 4 Steps to Optimize Product Value by Stephanie Ockerman

· scrum

"Are you building the right thing to create value for the organization? How do you know?"

If you are not asking these two questions regularly, you might be missing the product value dimension.

The product is the purpose of what you are doing.

Therefore, you must focus on understanding and growing product value.

🧠 Step 1: Foster a Product Mindset

"Output doesn’t matter if you are building things people don’t want or won’t use."

Scrum is not about delivering more things faster and cheaper.

Scrum is about delivering higher value more frequently.

Ask some powerful questions:

How are we validating assumptions about the user needs/ the market demand?

What are we learning about value? How is this guiding our product decisions?

What has changed with our users/ our competitive environment since we began this initiative?

A Product Owner plays an important role in fostering this product mindset within the Scrum Team and the organization.

🖼️ Step 2: Paint the Bigger Picture

Since you are building iteratively and incrementally, it is essential to have a clear idea about the bigger picture.

This helps determine if you are still in alignment and informs adaptations needed.

The bigger picture also includes defining value:

Business goals (e.g. customer conversion rate)

Profit/ revenue (e.g. revenue per customer, repeat customers)

Cost savings (e.g. customer acquisition cost, cost/ customer)

Customer/ user growth (e.g. new customers, market share, customers using latest release)

Feature usage (e.g. customers using a feature, time spent using feature)

⬆️ Step 3: Enable Value Emergence

Solutions to complex problems will emerge as you do the work .

You could learn that assumptions were wrong.

You could see that the market or even the business model has changed.

There are 3 things to focus on to enable value emergence through your Product Backlog refinement process:

  • Break things down smaller… for more flexibility in how quickly you can deliver value.
  • Understanding of value alignment… to deliver greater value.
  • Zoom out/ zoom in… to ensure you are still on track for value delivery.

✅ Step 4: Validate Actual Value

Value is just an assumption until validated by the market.

You need to release in order to get the most accurate picture of actual value delivered.

As you are analyzing the value trends, consider what changes you released and when and how those may have impacted value.


Scrum is not about how much stuff we build.

Scrum is about how much value we can create for the organization through frequent delivery of releasable product.

#scrum #product #optimizingSteps