What is the Role of a Product Owner?

Background

The Product Owner is the representative of all stakeholders.

His / her focus is the business side of the product. He / she carries the product vision to the team. He / she formalizes a specific, measurable and reasonable Product Backlog and prioritizes it by business value.

Responsibilities

  • Defines the features of the product, decides on release date and content
  • Is responsible for the profitability / value of the product / project (ROI)
  • Prioritizes features according to market and/or user value
  • Can change features and priority as work progresses
  • Reviews work results with team
  • Determines and engages stakeholders (especially customer stakeholders) to be involved with the team.
  • Responsible for presenting and working release reporting and metrics associated with this team:
    • Drives release execution from planning to release by working the priorities in the Product Backlog for the team
    • Manages / executes against overall release schedule
    • Overall end-to-end accountability for the release (on time on-time and on-budget)
    • Manages release schedules and dependencies
    • Communicates with all stakeholders on status of the release

Personality characteristics that will help a Product Owner work these responsibilities are captured at What Are The Characteristics of a Great Product Owner

What We Don't Want to See

  • Product Owner trying to “manage” the team. The team may not self-organize in the way you would expect it to but this is alright provided the team is producing the results required.
  • Product Owners who de-focus the team. For example, Product Owners should resist the temptation to add “more important work” after a Sprint / Iteration is already in progress.
  • Product Owners not being willing to make hard choices during the Sprint / Iteration planning meeting.
  • Product Owners who don't balance the interests of competing stakeholders, who play favorites, who have hidden agendas, or who do not have a transparent decision process.

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  • Last modified: 2018/10/04 09:00
  • by Hans Samios