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Book Review: Scrum Product Ownership: Balancing Value from the Inside Out

Title: Scrum Product Ownership: Balancing Value from the Inside Out (Second Edition)
Author: Robert Galen

Rating: 5 StarsĀ  (more info)

Bob Galen’s “Scrum Product Ownership” is one of the best, if not the best book that focuses on the role of the Product Owner. It’s comprehensive, educational, and does a wonderful job showing the importance and challenges of the Product Owner role in Scum.

Bob is currently working on the third edition of the book that should be out in the fall of 2017. For more information or to join Bob’s Agile newsletter visit

What I Liked:

  • The author provides many references throughout the book. In fact Appendix C has 22 desk references.
  • There are many stories and contributions from Agile practitioners and authors.
  • The author talks early on (Chapter 2) about the breadth of the Product Owner role and the fact there is one person who owns the overall responsibility, but there can by many others assisting in various activities.
  • One of the best discussions on quality in an Agile project that I have ever read and how the Product Owner can influence quality (Chapter 6).
  • An entire section dedicated to “Product Ownership at Scale”. The section about using Agile release trains was interesting but the author’s discussion about using Scrum of Scrums as a scaling model is pure gold.

What I Didn’t Like:

I have no complaints. I did see some reviews on Amazon that complained about typos and lack of proofreading, but nothing stood out to me. I also don’t understand giving someone a one star review about sentence fragments, but apparently it’s a burning issue for some folks.


  • “You don’t test in quality. By the time you get to testing, it’s too late. Your quality has already been instantiated into your code. Instead, your build quality into your DNA and work habits by individually adopting some of these core values:” (page 54)
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