Product Owner Role was first defined in Scrum, as a member of the Scrum Team, who works with a cross-functional development team and engage with the stakeholder for the overall successful delivery of the product. But today as more and more industries are moving and starting to follow Agile methodologies and accepting scrum as their framework more and more Product Owner are sort after.
I like to think about the product owner’s role in terms of three pillars: — Engagement, Value and Decision-making. To be successful in this role one must have a strong grip on all the three pillars.
Maximising Product Value: It is very crucial for a Product Owner to defines value. Value has a misconception of being the monetary gain. In fact, Value should be customer satisfaction, business goals and technical necessities that help to increase the usability of the product. It is the Product Owner who strategically analysis the market, product competitors, customer interviews and creates a minimum success to measure the accomplishment of the product. Product Vision, Product Strategy and Product Roadmap further acts like an anchor to keep the overall project on track and stay focused in delivering incremental value more frequently.
Engagement: Communication is the key to have good engagement with all your stakeholders and development team. A Product Owner needs to make sure everyone has clear vision and expectations at all times. Engaging with delivery team daily gives the Product Owner opportunity to resolve any blockages quickly. As a Product Owner it’s you who must keep the stakeholders aware of product progress, which indeed helps in getting constant feedback. One would also require influential skills to make value trade off while constantly inspecting and adapting the incremental.
Decision Making: The Product Owner is solely responsible and accountable for effective Product Backlog management. It is s(he) who make priority decisions for the Product backlog items based on user value, time and dependencies. The outcome is the ordered list of Product Backlog items which can delivers highest value. Though the Product Owner does take inputs from the technical experts, scrum team and other stakeholders, for refining the product backlog but the ownership still stays with the Product Owner. As a Product Owner you also make the decision whether the increment is releasable. Its rightly said “What gets measured gets managed”. Product Owners use this quantitative and qualitative data which is gathers from the metrics to measure success of the product and make value driven decisions.
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