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Product Owner

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What is a Product Owner?

A Product Owner is a key player in the Scrum Team. This person is also referred to as the PO. They represent the voice of the customer and the stakeholders. The primary responsibility of a PO is to make the product as valuable as possible for customers and stakeholders. How this is achieved can vary significantly across organizations, Scrum Teams and Product Owners.

What does a Product Owner do?

1. Understanding needs

In Scrum, we do not talk about roles but about responsibilities. As mentioned, the PO is responsible for maximizing the value of the product. To do this effectively, it is necessary for the PO to understand the needs of customers and stakeholders. For this purpose, they might interview customers or collect feedback through surveys.

2. Developing and communicating the Product Goal

Another responsibility of the PO is to develop and clearly communicate the Product Goal. For this, it is important that the PO understands the market in which the product exists very well (size, competition, target audience, needs, etc.). A Product Owner can create Personas to help with this. Besides helping to understand your target audience, it also aids in communicating their needs internally.

3. Creating and clearly communicating PBIs

The next responsibility is creating and clearly communicating Product Backlog items (PBIs). This means that the Product Owner frequently formulates backlog items that describe the work. Often, User Stories and a Scrum Board are used for this.

During the Sprint Planning meeting, the PO and Developers collaborate to outline the work to be done for the Sprint. They also collaborate during the Sprint to elaborate and clarify backlog items. This is also called refinement. This involves adding details, such as descriptions, prioritization and estimates to PBIs.

4. Ordering of Product Backlog Items

The Product Owner is always one individual and not a group of people. This person represents the interests of all stakeholders in the Product Backlog. If someone wants to make changes to the Product Backlog, they need to convince the PO to do so.

As mentioned, the PO is responsible for maximizing the value of the product. They do this by ordering the Product Backlog so that the most valuable items for all stakeholders are at the top of the backlog.

Note: The PO can perform the above work themselves or delegate it to others. But ultimately, the Product Owner is still responsible for these tasks.

Looking for a Product Owner?

As a freelance Product Owner, I support B2B companies in developing their digital product. Read more here.

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