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Who Should Be The Product Owner?

by Utpal Vaishnav on May 9, 2014

Recently, I wrote an article on ScrumAlliance that says that Principle Software Engineer is not a good choice for the role of Product Owner.

In followup, I got an email from a Scrum enthusiast saying he understood the point but then who should be the Product Owner in a Scrum team?

It is a good question.

Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood by even senior management of Scrum-novice organizations.

The Product Owner is someone who builds, shares and establishes the product vision and inspires the team to self-organize and make that vision take form of the product, fast.

The Product owner operates from compass and not just following a map. And that’s why there is no specific set of “processes” that can make a good Product Owner. He is free to do all the activities that stay true to its definition.

Of course the activities that the Product Owner carries out may include collaborating, answering questions, providing answers and so on but at the end of the day, they are just that – activities. Scrum is not about the activities. Scrum is about the results!

To better understand this role, let me use life as metaphor.

Imagine that life is a Scrum Project and you’re the Product Owner of it. Your goal is to build, share and establish the vision for the difference you have dreamt to make and inspire the people on your team (your family members, relatives, friends, colleagues, community fellows and so on) to join the mission to accomplish your goal, fast.

What sort of process you should be following to be a good Product Owner in this case?

The processes that get you closer to your goal!

The same logic applies to the Product Owner role: The Product Owner should be someone who can build, share and establish the product vision and inspire the team to self-organize and make the vision take form of the product, fast!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

vikas May 9, 2014 at 8:09 pm

IMHO product owner is basically plays a role of a captain (in context of product ) and his job is to ensure product sails rough sea and also scale on normal travel.
So he should be aware of what is product owner need, so he should be some one who can listen. H e should have knowledge of finance or at least basic ROI. and if he is in touch with technology it is a plus.

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