The Scrum roles are prototypes for agile leadership and agile management. The Agile Manifesto was formulated in 2001 with contributions from the two authors of the first Scrum publication. Scrum is a framework used to optimise an organisation to become more agile. In addition to a basic understanding of the artefacts and processes required, the framework also divides leadership duties into three roles. Scrum also follows a lean approach based on the idea that less is more. The framework thus only prescribes rules that are absolutely necessary.
The benefit of this is that each organisation can develop a suitable leadership system tailored to its needs within the triangle of Scrum roles. On the downside, it does make the concept of agile leadership somewhat less accessible and means it is often interpreted in very different ways.
To help clarify matters, in this article – the first of four – I will answer the question How does the Product Owner lead? using two companies as examples.
- A young, fast-growing company with an initial 20 employees.
- A medium-sized company that has grown to 450 employees over the course of two decades.