Agile software development: the many hats of the product owner

The Product Owner is more than just a role in Scrum. Depending on the context, they have to take on different tasks in different areas. Shown in hats, there are six specific areas of responsibility for product owners. The article introduces them and gives advice on how to use them.

the Scrum guide provides only a few statements about the activities of a product owner on its approximately 13 pages (number of pages varies by language). In order to develop the full potential of this role, essential in Scrum, all those involved must know the tasks and responsibilities of Product Owners and integrate them appropriately into their project and their respective organizational structure. In order not to lose sight of the various tasks involved, it helps to imagine product managers in different hats.

As product managers, product owners assume the content and economic responsibility for the product. They are visionaries and creators of value, but at the same time they must ensure the success of the product.

Responsibility for content means: you make sure the right product is developed for your customers. To do this, product owners must be very familiar with their field and the market and must know the current trends and their competition. Market and customer satisfaction analysis is an ongoing activity throughout product development.

“The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Scrum team. How this is done can vary widely among organizations, Scrum teams, and individuals.

– Scrum Guide, November 2020

Product owners develop and communicate the purpose of the product. In order for it to be implemented in the right stages for the respective context, product owners create a roadmap for product development. From there, they drift from release plans to sprint goals – after all, each release needs to create added value for customers. The shorter the release cycles, the faster product owners receive customer feedback on whether the Scrum team is on the right track with product development.

At the same time, when planning their release, product owners should consider how difficult it is for their customers to use a new release. If it does not bring the expected benefit to the customer, or if the needs or the framework conditions change, the product owners adjust their initial short-term planning, re-check this new path and thus provide the optimal roadmap. for product development. Step by step, the product that customers really want and need is created.

Product owners are also responsible for marketing their product. They disseminate their product goal throughout the business and also align product development with business goals.

Along with their economic responsibility for the product, they must ensure that the investment in product development pays off for their business. You use appropriate key figures for tracking to keep tabs on return on investment (ROI) and ensure benefits for customers and businesses.

It is important that Product Owners live the motto “Inspect and Adapt”; From the product objective to measuring and monitoring the value delivered in each version to the repeated validation of the product with stakeholders and the marketplace.

Product owners can get help with their various tasks and do not have to do the necessary market and competitor analysis on their own. You can delegate this work to company employees, such as the marketing department, other team members, or external partners. However, you need to know the current data and trends in order to make the best possible decisions. They also make sure to pass on their knowledge to the Scrum team.

Many product management activities are not directly related to Scrum. Nonetheless, product owners need to be aware of these activities and factor them into their work as product managers and “value maximizers”.

Strategic activities for product management:

  • Analyze the sector and competitors
  • Return on investment maximieren
  • Create a feasibility forecast
  • Develop the product strategy
  • Outings plan
  • Identify customers and their needs
  • Create a roadmap for product development
  • Monitor the results
  • Create an external communication
  • Further develop the product
  • Introduce versions
  • Create a business case
  • Identify product requirements
  • Product launch
  • Develop a customer loyalty strategy
  • Define product features
  • Manage the product lifecycle
  • Define the product
  • Marketing and branding

Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and is not edited by our team.

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About Byron G. Fazio

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