The Importance of the Product Owner in a Project
#scrum, #team
21 October 2021
Julianna Sykutera

The Importance of the Product Owner in a Project

In a SCRUM team framework Product Owner (PO) is defined as “a member of the Agile Team responsible for defining Stories and prioritizing the Team Backlog to streamline the execution of program priorities while maintaining the conceptual and technical integrity of the features or components for the product.” In simple words, the Product Owner comes up with and defines the scope of the project. The PO is usually a single person but its role is crucial to the point it’s almost impossible to realize the project efficiently without having one in a team.  

Product Owner is the project’s key stakeholder

The PO is a person responsible for maximizing the value of the product delivered by the development team. It’s a person who knows what to build – what the business goal is, but most importantly how to build it. Product Owners specify the business requirements and help Project Managers shape the product backlog by setting the right priorities.  

Product Owner takes responsibility for multiple dimensions of product development

The importance of the Product Owner is visible in the spectrum of their responsibility. It’s not just a helper who guides the development team. It’s someone who actually leads the whole business behind the product, analyzing the value of each feature, looking for business opportunities, and managing all the financial, feasibility and legal risks. 

Product Owner is a mini-CEO of a product

One of the responsibilities of a PO is creating a product roadmap which is a visual tool representing the essential goals and milestones of a project plotted out on a timeline. When you think about it, it’s like building the future for your product, trying to predict all the key events and opportunities to use on the road. That’s why sometimes Product Owners are called mini-CEOs as they plan the growth of the given solution. 

Product Owner is the only person who has all the info to set priorities

Product Owners are the center of the development cycle. They welcome new ideas and accept the different perspectives of people in a team but stick to what’s important – the priorities. Projects are dynamic and it’s very easy to miss the aim of it if it’s not well established at first. That’s why setting priorities is so important and the PO is the only person who knows the correct order of events. 

Product Owner has direct communication with the development team

What distinguishes a good PO is leadership and communication skills. Being a member of the Agile team, the Product Owner has direct contact with developers, designers, project managers, etc. To be able to achieve the goal, a PO works closely with the team, expresses the expectations, provides feedback, and conveys a clear vision of the project. This way ensures that the developers understand the tasks and decisions made. 

Product Owner is a Head of Discovery Team

The Discovery phase involves the SCRUM team and the stakeholders. The purpose of the phase is to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to business objectives and the plan for the project. The PO works as a link between the project team and the stakeholders. He is responsible for delivering the knowledge about the product, setting the expectations and explaining the purpose and the value of the undertaking. 

Product Owner is a single source of truth for developers regarding business and product

Taking into account the decision-making of the PO, it is the only person in the team who is able to set the direction of the product, and thus the business. If the developer has doubts about the value of a given functionality, the PO is the right person to discuss this topic. He knows the answer to every question about the product and is, therefore, the only source of truth in the project.

The Product Owner plays an extremely valuable role and is accountable for the project outcome. If you lack one in your team – let us know, we can support the delivery of your invention! 

Interested? - let us know ☕
[email protected] Get Estimation