Congratulations on your new role, now you are a “Product Owner”

We have new roles and additional responsibilities as a result of changing the business or changing the way in which you work. As an example to myself, in the past I was working as a “Project Manager” and now I am working on the title “Product Owner”.

Today, project management is changing. In the world where needs change rapidly to keep up with the pace of technology, traditional project management methodologies such as Waterfall are no longer preferred for software development projects. Especially Agile Project management approaches are very popular recently.

We have adopted Scrum from Agile project management approaches in our company. The role of “Product Owner” (or “PO”), which we will talk about, is very important both for the development team as well as for general operation and healthy progress of the projects.

Let’s review what the “Product Owner” is responsible for;

  • As it’s written at the Scrum Guide, prepares and maintains the “Product Backlog” of the Scrum Team, which includes what the Development Team will do
  • Clearly specifying the Product Backlog jobs
  • Understanding and supplying information at the level required by the Development Team
  • Prioritizing requests to the project according to the values
  • Ensuring that “Product Backlog” is clearly visible to everyone and determining what the Development Team will do next
  • Maximizing the work of the developed product and the development team itself.

It will be a small stimulus for my friends who have worked like “Project Manager” in the past. In your new job you have to get rid of your old habits like being a manager of the development team, taking care of your friends in the development team. Because they are not included in the “PO” task definition. To give your business the necessary support in order to prioritize the projects that will give maximum value to the project and to ensure that they are produced quickly.

Of course, we can also assume independent roles from titles in line with the needs of the institutions we work with. I am responsible for many businesses that do not have a “PO” role definition; for example, evaluation of customer claims, preparation of project scope, determination of project cost with software and design teams, product testing with customers. Naturally, the Scrum Guide does not write these in the “PO” quests. But I think it is important for “POs” to be involved in every step of the project as the real owner of the business. It will also be the best practice to directly contact the stakeholders to account for each claimant’s work, to direct them, and to ensure that the final decision is taken and to prioritize the work ahead of the development team.

In my opinion, if we return to the most important point; At the end of the day, developing a project is a team effort. In some projects you may choose to have some of the materials we have listed above made by the development team or someone else, or take responsibility beyond your role, but this mistake should not be overlooked. The “Product Owner” is the original owner and responsible, but not the person making the job.

Ozan Savaşçı
PO