What is a Product Owner?

The product owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product, which is derived from the work of the Scrum teams. He does this by creating and communicating Product Backlog entries and determining their order.

The product owner is responsible for the product backlog

The Product Owner maximizes the value of the product through effective product backlog management. This includes the following:

  • develop and explicitly communicate the product goal

  • create and clearly communicate the product backlog entries

  • define the order of the product backlog entries and

  • ensure that the product backlog is transparent, visible and understood

The Product Owner may do the above work or may delegate the responsibility to others. Regardless, the Product Owner remains accountable.
Whoever wants to change the Product Backlog can do so by trying to convince the Product Owner.

Product Backlog Refinement

Product Owner and Kanban

In Kanban there is a comparable role to the Product Owner: the Service Request Manager. In Kanban, the Service Request Manager is responsible for the upstream part of a work process. He is responsible for understanding the needs and expectations of the customers and for supporting the selection of work packages in replenishment.

The Product Owner ...

  • ... is empowered to make decisions about Product Backlog entries and their prioritization
  • ... is respected to be able to make these decisions
  • ... has knowledge and skills for creating Product Backlog entries
  • ... has direct contact with the developers
  • ... has direct contact with the stakeholders
  • ... maximizes the return on investment

Important: There is only one PO! This for quick decisions and clear decision structures that contribute to the effectiveness of Scrum.

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