Scrum Team

Product Owner

The Product Owner, within the Agile Methodology, is the one person responsible for getting the most out of the Development Team to ensure the product is maximized. To do this,s the Product Owner must be an effective communicator, with critical skills in empathy, to understand the needs of both the Product Manager and the team.

It is a pivotal role within the Agile framework. It is a role that demands respect otherwise the Project Owner cannot fulfill their purpose. It is also the role of the Product Owner to have a clear vision of the product as laid down by the customer. There must be clear outcomes and aims.

Jobs within the Product Owner’s role

The list of tasks the Product Owner has to take care of is quite varied but may include:

Maintain Product Backlog

Ensuring that everything that is needed for the product, also known as the Product Backlog, is maintained and managed effectively. This consists of the project stories. The Product Owner will also be involved in the planning and implementation of the items and stories. He, or she, has the power to refine those items as necessary.

Making sure those items, or stories, within the Product Backlog, are in place and ordered.

Determine the capacity of the Development Team

Determine how much work the Development Team can take on each account and ensure it is completed.

Clarify Stories

Must be confident in the fact that all in the team understand what is in the Product Backlog.

Stakeholder Management

Liaise with Customer and Project Manager.

Prioritize

Taking on and signing off items or stories, within the Product Backlog. The Project Owner is the only team member empowered to do so. This will be done through tests of acceptance which will ensure the stories are fit to be included.

Quality Control

Assess and implement levels of quality control throughout the whole process and report where there are any failings.


Experience and skills

To fulfill these jobs, it is essential that the Product Owner has a full understanding of their role. They may have expertise in:

Marketing

As it is necessary to understand what the customer needs and how best to achieve it a background in marketing can be useful.

Product Management

This is a managing role, and the Product Owner must be able to manage effectively and get results from the team. To be respected he, or she, must be consistent in their demands and practices.

Being goal driven, the Product Owner is key to the products successful implementation. With such a varied role there is much the Product Owner has to take on but it is a role that brings rewards, to themselves, and to the team.