Sep 7th, 2020

7 Key Product Owner Responsibilities Explained 2024

Sumeet Madan
Sumeet Madan

With a remarkable 18-year tenure in software engineering, agile training, coaching, and consulting,... Read more

As per the Scrumguide the

“The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the Product resulting from the work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals."

The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog.

Product Backlog management includes:

Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;

Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions;

Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs;

Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next; and,

Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.

The Product Owner may do the above work or have the Development Team do it. However, the Product Owner remains accountable.

There are many responsibilities that a Product Owner carries during the Product Lifecycle, and as mentioned in Scrumguide, all these responsibilities the Product Owner can choose to delegate. As the Product Owner is accountable for the success of the Product, there are some core responsibilities that a Product Owner should keep as a core.

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The Product Owner's three fundamental responsibilities that should not be delegated are:

  • 1Product Backlog Management: It is a living artifact, the Product backlog change. It evolves hence needs to reorder continuously. As a Product Owner, one needs to ensure the complete transparency on Product Backlog by ordering it to reflect the most recent insights and making it available to the Scrum team and Stakeholders. It also includes adding or removing an item for the Product Backlog and accepting or rejecting the work done during the Sprint.
  • 2Product Vision and Strategy: In Scrum, the Product Owner is one person who is accountable for the success of the Product. Hence, the Product Owner creates, owns, and manages the Product vision and creates a strategy for the Product that includes budgeting, marketing, customers, operations, and release. Product vision explains the purpose of a Product and what it aims to achieve or what problem does it solves for the customers and users. The Product vision describes a future state of the Product and what problems it tries to resolve or what ambitions it tries to fulfil. A well-voiced vision helps motivate the Scrum team, stakeholders, customers, and it’s users. It also helps provide direction and focus. It supports the Product Owner to make choices about what to build and what not to build for the Product.
  • 3Product Value & Governance: Holding the accountability for the Product Success, the Product Owner maximizes the Value of the Product. But what is the “VALUE”? The value is context-dependent and comes in different forms that may change over time. One can say that the value is time-dependent. The value can be defined and measured in different ways, but the most important is to steer on value. Evidence-Based Management is a good starting point to understand how to measure the value.

Are You Ready To Ace Your Career as a Product Owner?

The product owner is a valuable asset to the organization for executing projects efficiently and on time. Product owner responsibilities include some key functions such as creating a roadmap for the project, managing the needs of the stakeholders, and bringing the products to market successfully. If you are still not confident about your skills or feel stuck in your career – then we highly recommend you to check our upcoming scrum product owner training that can act as a ladder to boost your career.

Sumeet Madan

With a remarkable 18-year tenure in software engineering, agile training, coaching, and consulting, Sumeet's expertise is unparalleled. As a certified Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) from Scrum.org and a distinguished SAFe® Practice Consultant (SPC), Sumeet brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to every project, making a lasting impact on organizations seeking to embrace Agile methodologies.

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