What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Product Owner?

Product Owner plays a vital role in many Multinational Companies. The role of the Product Owner in Scrum comes with exquisite responsibilities. With the techniques of Scrum, Kanban, SAFe every MNCs is looking around for the person who makes the work process much and more agile to deliver quality results and productive solutions to the Enterprise. As Scrum, SAFe, and Kanban emphasize the need for Product Owners and their benefits for the organisation, the roles and responsibilities of a Product Owner brings wealth of values to the organisation. 

Product Owner:

The Product Owner drives the process of development and is responsible to execute it in a way to suffice the requirement of the end-user. They guide the Development Team and are responsible to answer to the stakeholders about the work process. In other words, they act as a face of communication between the Development team and Stakeholders.

A Product Owner is like a mentor to the development team who delivers effective product vision to bring business agility to the organisation. The Product Owner has the main responsibility of handling the Product Backlog system along with monitoring the team to deliver the best return on investment within time to the organisation.

 Roles and Responsibilities of a Product Owner:

roles-and-responsibilities-of-product-owner

Management of the Product Backlog:

The Product Owner has a key responsibility to have a collaborative approach for the product being developed.

They gather the necessary data from the architect and stakeholder team and then they work as a primary member who solves, builds, maintains and manages the backlog of the system. Product Owner owns the Product backlog, thus has the responsibility to create, maintain and update the prioritized product backlog. 

Iteration Planning:

The Product Owner updates the priority of Product Backlog at regular intervals as part of the workflow process called iteration planning.  Product Owner plans and manages other segments of workflow process along with the Scrum Master and Team Member in the Iteration Planning Meeting. The Product Owner ensures the necessity and priorities are well aligned and agreed by every member taking part in the Iteration Planning Meet.

The face of the Organisation

Product Owner is the face of communication between the Stakeholders and the Development Team. Product Owner is the face of the Product Development Team and makes sure the Product Developed stands well with the priorities of the Stakeholders.

PO helps the stakeholders to manage the business value of the product to be delivered. Product Owner makes sure that features of the Product Developed stands appropriately with the requirements of the End-User. In other words, PO acts as the face of the Customer.

Mentor of the Development Team:

Product Owner helps to maximise the value of work which is done by the development team. PO guides the team with the authentic work culture. PO Clarifies queries and doubts by the development team and acts as both leader and mentor of the Development team. 

Program Execution:

The  Product Owner has to hear the story of members involved in the product development process, suggest the necessary changes at the need of time before the execution. The Continuous release of the value-added solutions that are reliable and frequent with Agile Practices is governed by the Product Owner with the Program Execution.  Product Owners give a significant amount of contribution in the vision, roadmaps,  ROI and design the flow of iteration increments.

Qualities of Product Owner:

For being a successful  Product Owner one needs the following set of skills and knowledge:

  •  A Successful Product Owner needs to implement the fundamentals of Scrum, Kanban, SAFe efficiently to deliver the purpose and roadmap for the development of good and quality products in an enterprise.
  • A Successful Product Owner should continuously deliver quality ideas and needs to have a strategic vision to mentor the team so as to deliver the product of the highest possible value in the end.
  • As a Product Owner is the face of communication between the Development team and Stakeholder and thus should make the flow of communication smooth between them. At the same time, the Successful Product Owner needs to hold frequent meetings so as to meet the requirements within the time.
  • A Successful Product Owner needs to be an expert at prioritizing the features, products and portfolios within an organisation cause the foremost responsibility of Product Owner is to govern both the internal & external factors of the product backlog.
  • Last but not the least, a successful Product Owner needs to be very proficient in analysing the business values which determines the delivery of a quality product to the marketplace with consistency.

Is Product Owner a technical role?

Product Owner is not a technical role but it needs an in-depth knowledge of the technical domain. As most of the work processed and implemented in the software and IT industry involve almost all the sections of the technical field, it becomes a necessity at first for Product Owners to have an authentic and exquisite knowledge of the technical field.

The foremost responsibility of a Product Owner is to guide and mentor his development team and this is where the use of technical knowledge comes in use. As the Product Owner is a key force behind the development of Product, they have the key responsibility to ensure all the technical sections and technical perspective are in proper space and are functioning in the end.

To sum it up, a Product Owner has the business perspective as they bring business agility and business solutions to the enterprise but that very perspective and agility wholly depend upon the technical domain and technical speciality.

Conclusion:

The need for a  Product Owner is high and in much demand in the Software and IT Industry. With things gradually changing with time and most sections of the Software and IT Industry shifting to Agile Work process, the roles and responsibilities of a Product Owner have expanded. 

Almost every enterprise all across the world is working on the fundamentals of SAFe, Scrum and Kanban Framework to bring agility in every way possible. And all the above-mentioned fundamentals have emphasised on the necessity and value of  Product Owner in an organisation. The Fundamentals of SAFe, Scrum and Kanban asks if working on the respective framework, the need for a Product Owner is a must.

Author :

vijay wade

View posts by vijay wade
Vijay is Lean and Kanban evangelist and has improved many product lines and projects using Lean and Kanban practices. He has benefitted many clients by reducing their product cycle times and overall productivity improvements by Kanban and Lean Practices. He has 22+ years of Experience in Agile and Scrum Coach with Technical agility practices and helped many clients on the path of business and organizational agility.

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