Product Owner Roles and Responsibility

StarAgilecalenderLast updated on April 01, 2024book20 minseyes4078

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A product owner is a leader who is focused on maximizing the value of the products that are being developed by a Scrum Team. Apart from all this, a PO also analyzes the future trend of the Product or system that is being developed and he/she is also aware of the real market value that the Product is going to bring to its customers. In this article, we will briefly go through learning about the product owner, their roles and responsibilities and what are the essential skills they need.

Who is a Product Owner?

A Product Owner (PO) is a key stakeholder in any Agile project. He is the one who provides the vision of what he wants to develop, and he is the one who shares his vision with the customers and the scrum team. A PO must ensure that his vision is correctly interpreted and understood by all the stakeholders, as it is a MUST if the Product has to be implemented correctly and delivered successfully.

Now, even though PO prioritizes the product backlog during the sprint planning meeting, it’s the scrum team that selects the amount of work they believe they can deliver. So, based on the workload undertaken by the scrum team the PO gets to know the total number of sprints required to deliver the Product as a whole. And based on the sprints PO gets to know the date by which he can commit the stakeholders to the delivery of the product.

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Product Owner Roles and Responsibilities 

The main Product owner roles and responsibilities are generally responsible for constantly managing the backlog to maximize the product and company value. However, the roles and responsibilities of the Product Owners keep on varying depending on the environment, the organization they are working with and the goals they want to achieve, but they still have some key roles and responsibilities. 

Product Owner Roles

The major product owner role is to guarantee that the organization gets the maximum value out of the product creation cycle. This means collaborating closely with the manufacturing team to ensure that all product specifications are properly expressed and completed on time. Along with that they also,

  • Specify the roadmap and describe the product requirements in detail. 
  • Prioritizing the important steps by sorting the product roadmap.
  • Align the tasks and the product roadmap according to the objectives.
  • Monitor the team’s progress and give feedback.
  • To make sure each and every team member understand the Product Roadmap, user requirements and market needs.

 

Product Owner Responsibilities

The Product Owner Responsibilities are very particular, they are responsible for the:

Defining the Vision

It’s the Product Owner's primary goal to clearly define the vision that they have envisioned for the product. But just having a clear picture of the goal of the product to achieve is not enough. PO will also need his / her vision to be properly communicated to the larger audiences like the customers, scrum team, decision makers etc. A slight misplacement of words in communicating product vision might result in the failure of an entire project delivery timeline.

One more important thing that Product Owner needs to have clarity on is the Projects road map. Below is the sample road map that will give you the look and feel of how the product is going to achieve its goal and vision.

Products road map

 

Prioritizing and Managing Product Backlog

The product owner decides the priority of the backlog item, the product owner lists down all the backlog items that he had earlier gathered while having a requirement-related discussion with customers. The overall strategy and corporate objectives are used to determine priority. The product backlog is the to-do list delivered in succession by the product owner to the scrum development team. Setting priorities is one of the most important responsibilities, but managing the backlog items is equally crucial. When product development is ongoing, one method of managing the product backlog is to regularly update the backlog items depending on customer needs and how the product is evolving. The list of things will now be updated as the product evolves. As a result, it is the product owner's primary obligation to keep the development team and other essential stakeholders up to date on the newest product upgrades.

Act as a Mediator

Once the backlogs are accepted then the product owner will have to communicate as it is to the scrum development team and other key stakeholders. Apart from this if there are any queries or changes that his or her scrum development team would suggest then the same message must be delivered to the customers very diligently and quickly (to avoid any delays in delivery timelines). Thus, the product owner act as a key mediator between the customers and scrum product development team and other stakeholders.

Evaluate and Monitor Product’s Progress

It’s the Product owner's responsibility to evaluate the product's progress right from the start. Also, they need to keep an aerial view or monitor the product progress at every stage till the products get delivered. The product owner will also have to compare the products part by part delivery against the delivery of the expected product so that they are aware whether the development team is ahead of the delivery schedule and will meet the delivery target or are they going to miss it or if they are behind the delivery schedule and going to miss the products delivery target then corrective action can be taken upfront by the product owner so that team comes back on the planned delivery timelines. Thus, the product owner gets to know the overall performance and the capabilities of his team.

Also Read: 7 Best Books For Product Owner 

What Skills Does a Product Owner Need? 

Analytical Skills

“The ability to deconstruct information into smaller categories in order to draw conclusions.”

It is an essential skill without which a product owner cannot go further. It refers to the ability to gather and analyze information, solve complicated problems rationally, and make timely judgments in order to increase productivity.

Communication Skills

Most importantly, communication holds a large part of the product owner’s responsibilities. The PO needs to closely work with all the key stakeholders not only within the organization but at times outside the organization too. So, the PO should be capable enough to communicate different messages about the project to different people (either they belong from technical backgrounds or from the business end). The message should be crisp, clear and understandable to different people at any given time.

Decision-Making

The product owner makes decisions. As the product owner, the PO must make various decisions on a daily basis, including what items to include in the product backlog, how to prioritize them, and how to best convey the same to the scrum team. One of the most important skills that a PO must have is decision-making ability. They must make decisions quickly, which requires analytical thinking, experience, knowledge and problem-solving ability.

Teamwork

A product owner does not work on their own. They are a part of the software development team, collaborate with them, and are in frequent contact with them. The PO must collaborate closely with the development team to ensure the product's success and value optimization." The closer they work, the better." And this needs teamwork capabilities that are independent of communication skills. Working with others to attain a common goal is what collaboration includes. The unifying goal in this scenario is to maximize product value.

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Conclusion: 

Well, hope this helps you in getting a clear picture of the roles and responsibilities and what is expected from a Product Owner. The PO is the bridge between the customers and the scrum team. Also, if you want to know more about the roles and responsibilities of a product owner then attend CSPO training conducted by Star Agile.

Also Read: Product Owner Future

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a product owner not responsible for?

The product owner is only responsible for the product and its development. The Product Owner is not responsible for any task or activity like promotions, conflict resolution, management problems or any other. They are highly focused on their job role.

What makes a good product owner?

A Product Owner should be a professional who can foresee and grasp the product's customers' expectations. They should design products that meet all of the criteria specified by the customer, as well as work properly and meet all of the customer's requests.

What is the Difference Between a Product Owner and Scrum Master?

While the Scrum Master and Product Owner work closely, their jobs are somewhat distinct. A Scrum Master leads the Agile development team and assists the Product Owner by communicating updates to the appropriate staff. Product owners manage the product backlog and ensure that the product provides the most value to the company.

Is Product Owner Certification Worth It?

A CSPO certification is one of the most effective ways to advance your profession and develop solid management skills for maximum product optimization and efficiency. It opens up new prospects while also improving the overall product quality and work ethics of the team as a whole. So, it's definitely worth it.

What is the Role of the Product Owner in Scrum?

The Scrum Product Owner manages the product backlog and ensures that the company gets the most out of a product. The Scrum Master assists the Scrum Product Owner by ensuring that everyone on the Scrum team knows the goals, project scope, and product domain, according to the Scrum Guide.

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