Deena Chadwick
The CommonSensical BA

Product Ownership: What Is & Is Not Expected Of You

Product Ownership

Responsibilities of a Product Owner

  • To the Organization by ensuring that the product delivers value
  • To the Users by ensuring that the product provides the features and functionality they needs
  • To the Program by ensuring that they follow standards and processes that ensure continuous improvement and delivery
  • To their Team as both team member, support person, and strategic lead

How does a Product Owner fulfill all of these roles and responsibilities?

  • Defining the Vision, Strategy & Tactics
  • Creating a Product Roadmap
  • Creating User Stories & Features
  • Managing the Product Backlog
  • Anticipate the User’s Needs
  • Managing Relationships
  • Being a Servant-Leader

What is Not Expected of a Product Owner

Jack of All Trades

A Product Owner has very specific responsibilities that will take a large amount of their focus and skills. They should not be expected to be considered a viable substitute for testing, data analysis, project management, development, or help desk.

Just a Lead Sheet (Roll-a-dex)

Any good Product Owner will naturally gain a network of amazing connections. This does not mean you should hire them for who they know any more than you should hire them for what they wear. A Product Owner is more than a list of contacts, they are a wealth of knowledge and skills.

At Their Beck & Call 24/7

A Product Owner is responsible to so many people, but more often than not, they treat a product owner as if he/she is supposed to be available all times of the day at a moment’s notice. Just because their tasks are not listed on the Scrum or Kanban board does not mean they are idle. 

The Teams Micro Manager

A Product Owner should know the overall status at all time. A great Product Owner is in tune and in frequent communication with their team. However, this does not make them responsible for micro-managing the team. Each person is responsible for his or her own tasks and the Scrum Master or Project Manager should be responsible for tracking and monitoring.