What All Responsibilties Come Under The Role Of A Product Owner

What All Responsibilties Come Under The Role Of A Product Owner

A Product Owner's life is sorted. They often work with the best Development team in an organization, plays a dominant role in the company decision-making process, and acts as an interface between a product and its end-users.

Becoming a Product Owner has its perks. You may expect a high salary and bonuses, flexible schedule, free food, free gym facility, medical insurance, travel allowance, training, and appraisals, among others.

As a Product Owner, you can enter the gates of coveted organizations like PwC, Liberty Mutual Insurance, eBay Inc., CLS Bank International, Mercedes-Benz, and many others, with elan.

However, to make your mark in the field, you have to possess a product owner certification. Getting a certificate makes your profile more attractive to the recruiter. As a Product Owner is one of the most resourceful persons in the Scrum Development Team, having a certification can add laurels to your profile.

So, what is it like to work as a Product Owner? Read on to find out.

Who is the Product Owner in an Organization?

A Product Owner is a key resource person in the product development team. Although they are a part of the development team, they may or may not play a role in product management.

A Product Owner's primary task is to ensure that the development team is following the Scrum framework. They also look after prioritizing the backlog. In essence, the Product Owner's chief function is to act as an advocate for the customers in development meetings.

The textbook definition of a Product Owner may differ widely among organizations. Some organizations treat them as leaders who are entirely responsible for giving tactical advice and suggestions to the development team. 

Some other organizations consider this designation more strategic, where the Product Owner plays second fiddle to the Product Manager. In such an organization, the Product Owner's job responsibilities may be much greater than where the role is more tactical.

The Top Responsibilities of the Product Owner

What All Responsibilties Come Under The Role Of A Product Owner

Jack of Scrum, Master of Agile

It is the duty of a Product Owner to ensure the product's success. They look after the delivery, maintenance, and marketing of a product. They also need to know about the agile project management framework in general and Scrum in particular.

The primary difference between Agile and Scrum is that while Scrum influences the daily decisions taken by a Product Owner, Agile refers to the broad mindset that determines the strength of a team.

As a Product Owner, you have to create a development plan by following the Scrum framework and lead your team to become agile. You have to train your team on ways to prioritize and re-prioritize tasks to meet tight deadlines.

Hence, flexibility and agility are the two skills that can make or mar your prospects as a Product Owner. Ideally, you should change yourself depending on fluctuating factors and guide your team to be nimble.

Prioritize Product Backlog

A Product Owner's life hovers around the product backlog. The product backlog is a master list, which contains everything about a product's content, requirements, and other details. Any changes in product dynamics will also impact the product backlog.

A Product Owner needs to stay updated about the ever-changing market environment. Often, they modify the product to suit the current environment and guide the development team to make necessary amendments. 

Additionally, they play a role in the product backlog refinement process, which requires the updation, addition, or deletion of product items.

Hence, a Product Owner needs to have an acute understanding of the broader market and various macroeconomic factors, along with client requirements, which can dictate the viability of a product.

A Negotiator With a Vision

As a Product Owner, you have to be a master communicator and negotiator. You will be singularly responsible for meeting the client and understanding their requirements, talking to internal stakeholders, and creating the product backlog. Additionally, you should get on board with the development team to discuss project goals.

Quite often, you have to play the role of a negotiator who considers the client's needs as paramount while creating a product roadmap and negotiating with internal stakeholders to ensure seamless execution of a task.

Hence, a Product Owner should ideally be an excellent communicator and negotiator who is adept in changing their communication style depending on the nature of the audience.

In addition to the responsibilities mentioned above, a Product Owner also performs the following tasks:

• Strategize the development process

• Design user-centric products

• Have a keen understanding of the latest marketing trends in the industry

• Lead and manage the development team independently

• Evaluate the efficacy of product goals and, if needed, modify them

• Arrange regular meetings with stakeholder and members of cross-cultural teams

• Ensure that the production budget does not exceed the client's estimate

• Create a product life cycle and oversee the product release process

Now that you know the responsibilities of a Product Owner let's understand the skills you need to excel in the role.

The Top Skills That a Product Owner Must Possess

Here are the skills you should possess if you want to be a Product Owner:

• Communication Skills - For most of your day, you will interact with people. Hence, you must be a logical and rational communicator.

• Ability to think independently - Quite often, you have to make decisions by yourself. Hence, you must have a methodical mindset and quick decision-making capabilities.

• Commitment to Work - As you will be the all-in-all contact point for a product, you have to stay committed to the cause of your customers, stakeholders, and the team.

• The Curiosity to Learn - 'Why' and 'How' should be your favorite questions as a Product Owner. While you will need to direct the 'Why' questions to the client, the 'How' questions will be reserved for your team.

• Patience - Sometimes, you will get projects that are demanding in nature. You need to handle such situations patiently. Hence, patience is a virtue you need to exhibit at all times.


No wonder the best product owner certification can create many new avenues for you. However, to rise and shine, you need to keep your eyes open and ears tuned. After all, the best Product Owner is the one who is agile by heart and the master of Scrum by the mind.   

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