Product Owner

What is a Product Owner?

The Product Owner (PO) is a member of the project team who is responsible for maximizing the value delivered by the team and ensuring that the Team Backlog is aligned with customer and stakeholder needs. The product owner works closely with the team to ensure that everyone understands what is on the product backlog and how it relates to the current state of the product or service.

The product owner assists the project manager in providing leadership towards the completion of project tasks and managing the team’s performance. A project manager is primarily concerned with the delivery of products/services within a predetermined time frame. A product owner is primarily concerned that the product is built to the correct specifications, and that the right problems are being solved in order of priority.     

How do I define who the product owner should be?

Skills required for an effective product owner include:

  • Strong written and verbal communication (including technical writing) skills
  • Strong facilitation skills, keeping the focus on the product vision
  • Results oriented
  • Leadership
  • Tactful in difficult situations
  • Problem solver
  • Analyzer
  • Ability to understand and respond to business needs in a rapidly changing environment

What are the product owner's responsibilities?

The Product Owner is accountable for effective product backlog management, which includes:    

  • Develop and communicate product goals  

  • Collect requirements or needs and feedback from end users and stakeholders

  • Create user stories and develop backlog items   

  • Groom and prioritize product backlog items   

  • Ensure that the product backlog is transparent, visible, and understood

  • Evaluate proposed changes to the backlog

The Product Owner may perform the above work or may delegate the responsibility to others.

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