- What is (or who is) the Product Owner?
- What does the Product Owner do and what is their importance in companies?
- In active participation in planning
- When creating the backlog
- In filtering and prioritizing backlog tasks
- In competitor and market research
- The Qualities of a Good Product Owner
- The qualities you can’t have
Product Owner is the professional responsible for defining the items that are within the Product Backlog and that will be prioritized within the business, seeking the greatest possible ROI at all times. Having a clear vision of the product and the way of working is one of the many missions that the PO has in companies.
Developing software is a task that requires organization, focus but, above all, a strategic vision of what the market and customers want.
Details make a difference – for better or for worse. Any point that is, if neglected, can lead to immediate failure of a product. And reversing such a scenario is often impossible.
Fluid processes, aimed at developing what customers ask for is, without a doubt, the scenario that any business seeks, right?
Thus, the success of both development and assertive and quality delivery passes through the Product Owner.
But, after all, what is the role of this professional? Is it really that important, or even vital within companies?
And your day-to-day work, how does it happen? How should his influence be within the teams?
Well, many doubts surround the work of the PO. And, in this article, we clarify all of them – we will also answer another question: what is the ideal profile of this professional?
Stay with us.
What is (or who is) the Product Owner?
The Product Owner is responsible for leading the process of developing a product, especially when agile methods are applied (such as the scrum methodology ).
It tends to be a professional responsible for the development of projects – but this is not always the rule and you need to understand why.
In those with greater complexity, companies can (and should) adopt a team of owners for an assertive distribution of roles.
Therefore, it is important to understand how complex your mission is, as well as the goals and objectives sought so as not to overload a professional with something too dense to deal with.
We may understand the Product Owner not as a position or profession itself. It is much more a mission and a commitment received within companies.
In this case, it is common that this function is accumulated and there is a specific focus for this project – until, essentially, its delivery.
It will be up to this person, then, to be a kind of “bridge” between:
- the scrum team;
- the company’s business area;
- the needs of customers.
Therefore, the profile of this collaborator (which we will discuss in more detail later on) needs to be focused on an aplomb to dialogue and influence all the elements mentioned above.
This person’s vision must necessarily be strategic. It is necessary to understand the business, but without leaving the notions and technical knowledge aside.
This will help to not only let the DevOps culture flow through the enterprise. And you will also have much more assertiveness and/or credibility to deal with various issues.
What does the Product Owner do and what is their importance in companies?
Although there is no fixed routine every day, some things are always repeated: the role and performance of the Product Owner within organizations.
At this point, you may have already understood why this professional is important and also strategic in project development.
But, we have separated 4 items that further expose the need for this function to ensure that the company’s mission, vision and values will be reflected in the quality of delivery.
In active participation in planning
Those who have a decisive and strategic role in operations obviously need to participate in all stages of planning. Even to avoid confusion and rework.
It’s a question of the intelligence of those who run a business and are the manager of an area. The conceptualization step is critical. Working the plan is easier than improvising, right?
The PO acts, in this task, to specify which are the main functionalities to be included. It also acts to determine what the product to be delivered should look like in the final version.
It is also a mission to define the time of the sprints (in addition to the objective of each one of them), as well as the content released in the releases to come.
When creating the backlog
Another equally important activity is “slicing” the product into different parts. This means creating a list of features and requirements that will be developed.
This product bakclog , by the way, necessarily needs to be created in a clear, didactic way that immediately facilitates the understanding of the technical team.
Without this, in addition to the deadlines being compromised, the delivery may not come out in the necessary quality. This would automatically stress and generate frustration for the team and customers.
The backlog, by the way, needs to be continually updated. It is alive and needs to be taken care of always closely by the PO.
In filtering and prioritizing backlog tasks
It is necessarily the Product Owner’s job to define execution priorities and also to determine their deadlines.
It is a task that requires a lot of knowledge from the PO about the company, its team, market segmentation and how to delight the customer .
The decision-making takes place based on generally, the importance of each feature and how much it would add to the product as a whole.
The time to carry out this work, costs and risks are also taken into account.
And, of course, always aligning with what the company needs within the strategic planning carried out.
In competitor and market research
Knowledge of the market and increasingly detailing the company’s ideal customer profile is something to keep the product always competitive and attractive.
Understand: the PO also has, as a mission, to know more and better the reality in which the company’s business is inserted.
Know very well how the competition positions itself, how it is delivered and the technology that is present there.
This information will provide greater insight and security. This serves to decide the next steps and also to adjust processes that, today, are not yet rounded off.
And all of this, of course, will be reflected in the quality of delivery and will guarantee, at all times, the client’s success with your solution.
The Qualities of a Good Product Owner
For the missions that the PO has on a daily basis, some characteristics are essential to exercise this very important position.
These are non-negotiable qualities that make all the difference in the work routine.
After all, the challenges are great – and problems often occur.
It is essential to be prepared and aware of what needs to be done to get around this scenario and return to the reality considered ideal.
Therefore, communication is possibly the main quality that this person needs to have. This is because everyone’s engagement and commitment to the process will pass through it.
It is essential to keep the team interested and focused, aligned with the company’s and customers’ objectives, as well as being encouraged to constantly seek innovation.
Business knowledge is also something the PO needs to make good decisions. And they need to appear especially at critical moments when prioritizing A or B.
This is what will guarantee the Product Owner’s autonomy to be strategic and assertive in their choices. Getting it wrong can mean big damages to the business.
The qualities you can’t have
Likewise, it is essential that he does not have a centralizing posture. Although he is responsible for making decisions, he cannot do so in an authoritative way.
Construction is collective and sharing goals and responsibility is healthy for the work environment and contributes to a positive organizational culture .
Leaving one particular area aside in favor of another is equally an action or characteristic that cannot occur in PO work.
The feeling needs to be one of unity and that everyone is fundamental to the project, right?
Therefore, always integrate the areas and listen to the concerns and ideas that everyone has to add.
This is and always will be an efficient way to have quality delivery and always keep the focus on the customer . The company thanks you.
So, how can we help you?
If you were in doubt about the article or want to share some “pain” in your business processes, talk to a consultant whenever you need to .
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you to have more productivity and an always assertive delivery to customers.
The first addresses the importance of quality management that is really assertive and concerned with always delivering the best.
The second shows how the OKR methodology , being different, improves results within companies.