Jun 2nd, 2020

Top 8 Responsibilities of a Product Owner in 2024

Sumeet Madan
Sumeet Madan

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

A Product Owner is a person who owns the Product and is accountable for its success. Product Owner responsibilities are often misunderstood in the market. Product Owner usually doesn’t have ownership with the Product that they are working on, and they aren’t empowered to make the decisions regarding the Product.They are mostly focused on writing the requirements of the product that are dictated by the stakeholder(s). These types of Product Owners are popularly known as the Business Analyst.

Scrum Product Owner is a Role in Scrum and carries the accountability for maximizing the value of the Product/Success of the Product/ROI of the Product by

  • 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.

In this blog, we will understand the product owner roles and responsibilities in detail. Therefore, stick to us until the end. We genuinely have so much to offer to your knowledge bank.

Maximize Your Earning Potential: Product Owner Certification Opens Doors to Higher Salaries💡

After earning the certification, product owners witness a surge in job opportunities, with a reported 30% increase in demand within the first year alone (source: Agile Alliance). Furthermore, certified product owners command salaries up to 20% higher than their non-certified counterparts (source: Scrum Alliance). These statistics underscore the significant career advancement prospects associated with obtaining the certification.

What is a Product Owner?

The scrum guide describes scrum product owner as the person who is in-charge of maximizing the value of the product. The process is widely varied across organizations and individuals. A product owner is an individual, not a team who may represent the needs of many stakeholders.

If anyone in the team wants any change in the product backlog, they need to convince the product owner and respect their decisions. Before that, let’s understand what is a product backlog, and what it includes. A product backlog is a to-do list with the details of every task that needs to be done to build the product.

It is an ongoing and continuous process, and it includes:

  • New features
  • Enhancement to existing functionalities
  • Technical debt
  • Infrastructure update

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The product owner may do all the work by themselves or delegate to others but regardless, the product owner is accountable for the entire process. Before you embark on your journey as a product owner, it is vital to understand the key difference between product owner and product manager.

Now that you know what a product owner, it's time to discuss product owner responsibilities – what we are here for.


Top 10 Responsibilities of a Product Owner.

  • 1Creating and owning the Product Vision: Part of the product development team, the Product Owner is the key person responsible for defining goals and creating vision development projects. Product Owners are accountable for liaising with stakeholders like customers, business managers, and the development team. This is done to ensure the goals are clear and the vision is in line with the business objectives.
  • 2Managing the Product Backlog: The product backlog is a list that contains and prioritizes the details of every little task you require to include in your product. Formulating the list of backlog items and prioritizing them as per the critical business objectives is the responsibility of the product owner. They have to jot down the list of project dependencies to determine the sequence of product development. The product backlog is dynamic and will keep evolving as the project requirements change. The product backlog should be made accessible to all the stakeholders and developers for superior performance.
  • 3Defining the Sprint objective: The Product Owner defines the sprint objective. The product owner defines the suggested sprint objective which will serve as base to determine the sprint goal by the Scrum Master, Scrum Team, Product Owner, and the Development Team.
  • 4Manage budget, scope, releases, and stakeholders of the Product: The product owner is responsible for managing the money. In addition, they manage the scope, releases, and stakeholders to ensure the project is delivered on time.
  • 5Review the work done by the development team: The product owner inspects the product increment made by the development team in each iteration. The review is carried out to ensure if the work is as per the product vision. If it is satisfactory, then the work will need to be revised by the development team in the future sprints. Pending or incomplete work will be prioritized and sequenced to deliver the expected outcomes from the user stories.
  • 6Being available to the development team: The Product Owner has to be available to address the development team’s questions and queries regarding the customer needs and point of view to effectively build the functionality.
  • 7Effective communication to the stakeholders of the Product: The Product Owner is the central communicator between the development team and the stakeholders. They need to be best communicators to ensure there is approval of the stakeholders for all major decisions and strategies. Clear communication is required to ensure there are instructions and deliverables for the development team.
  • 8Collaborating with the development team for the Product Backlog Refinement: Product Backlog Refinement is a repetitive meeting where product owners, product managers, and the engineering teams sit to prioritize, enhance, and finalize the items before the sprint planning. The Product Owner collaborates with the development team to confirm shared understanding between all the people involved. It is necessary to get an estimate of the size for the difficulty and implementation. Finally, the collaboration is done to determine if the items in the product backlog are done based on business value and the efforts needed.
  • 9Measuring the value of the Product (maybe using EBM): Evidence-Based Management is a framework businesses can leverage to help them measure, manage, and increase the value they derive from their product delivery. It focuses on bettering outcomes, minimizing risks, and maximizing value. The Product Owner should use EBM as it guides organizations to take the right measures to make the right investments in the correct places. Additionally, it aids in making smart decisions and decreases risk with the help of an iterative and incremental method.
  • 10Product roadmap: A Product Roadmap is the long-term visual summary of the vision and direction of your product offering with the passage of time. The Product Owner owns the product roadmap. It gives an insight into the product’s current state to the internal teams and the stakeholders.

Mastering These Skills Is a Must for Every Product Owner!

1. Product Management: Product Management refers to the functional department that oversees product strategy, development, planning, pricing, forecasting, launching, and marketing the product. Product management as a skill is helpful in-

  • Leading product management and performing business analysis and managing the product requirements in multiple emerging markets.
  • Building the requirements while communicating between businesses and developers.
  • Building digital product management enterprise tools

2. Project Management: Project Management is the ability to apply knowledge, skills, techniques, and tools to accomplish project goals and fulfill objectives successfully.  It is a 5 step process that consists of-

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and controlling
  • Closing

3. Subject Matter Expertise: Domain knowledge is needed to become a product owner. The Product Owner is not an entry level job. You must have experience in programming, software development, agile methodology, scrum framework, business development, and project management.

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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.

After certification, product owners often find themselves part of high-performing teams, with studies indicating a 25% improvement in team productivity (source: Scaled Agile, Inc.). Additionally, 85% of organizations report enhanced stakeholder satisfaction with products managed by certified product owners (source: Project Management Institute), highlighting the tangible benefits of certification for both individuals and businesses.


Product Owners employ techniques such as facilitating discussions, negotiating compromises, and prioritizing based on the overarching goals of the project or product. They may also escalate issues to higher management or seek consensus-building exercises to reconcile conflicting viewpoints.


In the Scrum framework, the Product Owner's primary focus is on maximizing the product's value and ensuring alignment with stakeholders' needs. While they may have input on technical matters, such decisions are often within the domain of the development team, led by the Technical Lead or Architect.


Typically, Product Owners may use feedback mechanisms, metrics analysis, retrospective meetings, and market research to refine their approach and adapt to changing circumstances.


While both roles share some responsibilities, they have distinct focuses. Product Owners primarily focus on the "what" and "why" of a product, while Project Managers focus on the "how" and "when." Product Owners own the product vision and backlog, while Project Managers ensure the development process runs smoothly and adheres to deadlines.


While a technical background can be beneficial, it's not always a requirement. A strong understanding of the product domain and the ability to communicate effectively with technical teams are more crucial.


There's no single path to becoming a Product Owner. Many professionals transition from roles like project management, business analysis, or marketing. Gaining relevant experience, acquiring PSPO certification, and continuously learning about product development methodologies can help prepare you for this exciting role.


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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