How to manage conflict with the Product Owner

In sprint planning, if there is a conflict between a PO and SM. How does a PO resolve the dispute? It is a great question, and as I have been hearing this question from other sources today, I was reading some of the comments on one of our channel videos. Nowadays, the question related to the conflict between scrum masters and product owners is emerging more and more. 

Tell us an example of where you had a conflict with the scrum master or product owner. For example, if you are a scrum master, you had a dispute with the product owner and how you resolved it. It is becoming a proper and alike one of the frequently asked questions nowadays.  

Again, that is something that we need to observe, such as what are the possible things where you can code some of the examples rather than just having a theoretical answer to it. So now, what are the possible things that can happen? 

  • Maybe what kind of a conflict usually can happen is prioritization- So people that the scrum master believes may also have a different way of prioritizing. The product owner may have a further understanding of prioritization. The product owner feels that he knows it well. In contrast, a scrum master thinks that I need to coach the product owner to prioritize it well to understand what the sense of prioritizing is. The minimum marketable feature is keeping light deliveries first rather than doing too much heavy stuff initially. It is one of the possible reasons for conflict. That’s one we have seen, so; we need to find out which type of conflict and how we resolved it. 
  • Then another possible conflict that we saw is related to quality, the definition of the term turn, and the engineering practices. For example, the product owners who come from a business side may not empathize in some cases, for example, “with the engineering of codeunit testing, and the integration and doing some cleaning work. What needs to do for a given work item or a story or whatever you call it. So there could be an issue where the scrum master feels that we are not giving enough time for those engineering things. We are pushing more and more a type of requirement that our business focus on that could be another indirectly related to priority again but a different type of work. 
  • The third possible conflict is that the product owner wants to push more and more work to the team to make them do double the work. They might be saying, that’s okay. You know we need to do more, and on the other hand, the scrum master might be protecting the team from not getting burned out and not getting into stress and doing the lousy quality code or work. So, that could be a third possible reason for a little bit of a conflict between a scrum master and a product owner in any situation.

 We need to find a more appropriate example, or you may have another category. It is like three based on an individual observation of a personal experience; it can also be called a limited sample. 

Assuming it is related to requirement prioritization, you may talk about some models, for example, user story mapping. With the help of a user state, we said that okay, let’s do a user story mapping for our product backlog. Then we will do a prioritization so you can say that the product owner was looking for one particular story going an upcoming sprint. You realize that it is not helping us achieve minimum marketable features, but you agree.

As we do a user story mapping and after that, we decide the priority, and he agreed to do that, and then you had a user story mapping. You also understand the perspective he had, and he knows the team’s perspective and where you were coming from. Because you both wanted to see a walking skeleton, both of you could ultimately find out what is good for the customer. That could be one story, but you need to find the other something relevant.

  • Check some of the other blog: 

Customer Centricity 

8 Reasons to use Agile

Disciplined Agile(DA) is a Toolkit

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