Responsibilities of Scrum Roles in Business Justification

September 24, 2020
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To perform a proper business justification, it is important for an organization to create a viable Project Vision Statement prior to starting any project. This helps key decision makers understand the business need for a change or for a new product or service and the justification for moving forward with a project. It also helps the Product Owner to create a Prioritized Product Backlog along with the business expectations of Senior Management & Stakeholder(s).

The responsibility of prioritizing and delivering business value in an organization for projects lies primarily with the Product Owner. For programs and portfolios, the responsibility lies with the Program Product Owner and Portfolio Product Owner, respectively. Their role is to act as effective representatives of the customer and/or sponsor.

Let us discuss the business justification responsibilities in a hierarchical order-

  1. Portfolio Product Owner:
  • delivers value for portfolios.
  • creates business justification for portfolios.
  • provides value guidance for programs
  • approves business justification for programs.
  1. Program Product Owner:
  • delivers value for programs.
  • creates business justification for programs.
  • provides value guidance for projects.
  • approves business justification for projects.
  1. Product Owner:
  • delivers value for projects.
  • creates business justification for projects.
  • confirms benefit realization to stakeholders.

However, it is important to note that although the Product Owner is primarily responsible for business justification, other persons working in Scrum projects also contribute significantly as follows:

  1. The Sponsor provides funding for the project and constantly monitors the project to confirm realization of benefits.
  1. Customers and Users are involved in defining the prioritized list of requirements and User Stories in the Prioritized Product Backlog, reviewing Deliverables after every Sprint or release, and confirming that benefits are realized.
  1. The Scrum Guidance Body may provide guidelines and recommendations related to business justification techniques and confirming benefits realization and so forth. These guidelines and recommendations may then be referred to by Scrum Core Teams and Stakeholder(s).
  1. The Scrum Master facilitates creation of the project’s deliverables; manages risks, changes, and impediments during Scrum processes. The Scrum Master coordinates with the Scrum Team to create the deliverables and with the Product Owner and other stakeholders to ensure that benefits from the project are realized.
  1. The Scrum Team works on creating the deliverables of the project and contributes to realizing business value for all stakeholders and the project. The Scrum Team is also involved in the associated processes where the business requirements are defined and prioritized. The Scrum Team also helps in identifying risks and submits Change Requests for improvements in Sprint Retrospect Meetings and other meetings.

Business justification drives all decision making related to a project. So, it is important to assess the viability and achievability of a project.

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