Top product owner responsibilities

Top product owner responsibilities

May 11, 2022

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The necessity of having a product owner behind a project has been debated by different companies for a while now. It’s a theme that brings a lot of disagreement to the table.

So, instead of pointing out the pros and cons of having a product owner in your project, we decided to just point out their main responsibilities, qualities, and value and let you decide for yourself.

What is a product owner?

For those who are not acquainted with the term “product owner,” we can summarize it by saying that this professional oversees maximizing the value of a product developed by a scrum team. An agile product owner or scrum product owner takes on multiple roles and is truly an essential part of any scrum team.

A product owner is usually someone from the marketing or the product management area, a person with a great understanding of users, the competition, the market, and future trends regarding the type of product that is being developed.

The product owner’s role and responsibilities

Even though the product owner’s role can change depending on the situation they have several roles that cover anything from product design to business strategy. The main goal of an agile product owner is to express the customer’s ideology to the development team.  Their vision is essential to the team – the way he or she shares it with the scrum team is what will allow them to bring it to life, therefore communication is also a valuable skill throughout their day and project. By working closely with the stakeholders, they can communicate the necessary message to the team during the project, at any time.

They will often take the lead in many areas of the product’s development. One day they might have to strategize and present their vision to the client and on another, they might need to roll up their sleeves to help their own team reach their objective during a sprint.

Product owners must manage and make the product backlog visible. Being the only person who can change the order of the items in the product backlog forces them to be available 24/7 for the development team in case any of its members have questions regarding the customer’s ideas and views.

The future and value of a product owner

How valuable is a product owner to a project? Very. They are a central piece to ensuring the success of a client’s request. We’ve already established that he or she helps in many ways, such as analysing goals, setting up workflows, problem-solving and much more. But what traits do they have that make them so valuable for the role?

Product owners are key to guiding the project’s vision and team, they excel in scrum software development, and they are 100% inside the project’s context and goal. On a personal level, they have to be extremely meticulous to plan and make sure all the important requirements are met. They must proactively ensure that the plan was set well in advance by identifying potential problems or roadblocks and working to solve them. Tackling questions and issues immediately is key so product owners must also be quick on their feet and make decisions fast.

If you’re considering this position yourself but still have some doubts, just know that product owners are more of a career pitstop and not a destination. It allows the person to grow and to switch within the same line of work.  

IT jobs are in high demand with very little supply. If you are looking for a career change, take a look at our career opportunities.