A Product Owner (PO) is an integral member of the Agile Team responsible for defining Stories and prioritizing the Team Backlog to speed up the implementation of the program’s goals while preserving the technical and conceptual integrity of the Features and elements for the team.
The PO plays a crucial part in helping to increase the quality of the work created by the team and ensuring that Stories satisfy the needs of the user and are in line with the Definition of Done. For most companies transitioning to Agile, This is a brand new and crucial job, typically an all-time job that requires one PO for every Agile team (or the maximum, two groups).
The role involves significant interactions and responsibilities that extend beyond the team, including dealing on behalf of Product Management, Customers, Business Owners and other essential stakeholders.
The PO is the Agile team member who serves as the customer proxy responsible for working with Product Management and other stakeholders–including other POs–to define and prioritize stories in the Team Backlog.
This lets the Solution focus on priority issues for the program (Features and Enablers) while preserving the integrity of the technology. The ideal scenario is that the PO is a part of the other team members, and they usually collaborate on management, incentives and cultural values. However, the PO is also a participant in the pertinent Product Management events to plan and refine the Program Backlog/Vision.
The PO fulfils the subsequent tasks:
1. Practice and Participation in PI Planning:
As part of the extended Product Management team, the PO is very involved in backlog revision and preparation in preparation for Program Increment (PI) planning and plays an integral part in planning the event itself.
Before the event, the PO reviews the team’s backlog and is usually involved in reviewing and contributing to the vision of the program roadmap, content, and presentations.
On occasion, the PO participates in story development and provides the clarifications needed to aid the team in estimating the story and sequence. The team as a whole Agile team, including the PO and the PI, also collaborate to establish their team’s PI goals for the following PI.
2. Iteration Execution
Maintaining the team backlog:
With input from System Architect/Engineering and other stakeholders, the PO is primarily responsible for building, editing, and maintaining the team backlog. It comprises mainly user reports, and the backlog can also include issues and enablers.
Items in the backlog are prioritized following the importance of the user to the team, the time frame, and other team dependencies that are determined during the PI planning session and then refined throughout the PI.
Iteration Planning PO examines and revises the backlog in preparation task for Iteration Planning which includes coordination of dependency with the other POs. When planning the event for iteration, the PO informs the team of story details and priorities and ensures that the team is in agreement and aligns on a final plan for iteration.
The PO collaborates with the team to agree on the accepted story’s completion. This involves confirming that the story has met the criteria for acceptance, passes the required constant acceptance tests, and is otherwise in compliance with the Definition of Done (DoD). Doing this also ensures that the PO will provide quality by focusing primarily on the fitness to be used.
Participate in team demos and retrospectives:
POs work with their team members and other participants in the team demonstration. They also participate in Iteration Retrospective, where the teams come together to review their processes. They are also active with Agile Release Train’s (ART’s) Inspect and Adjust (I&A) Workshop.
Just-in-time story elaboration:
It is the most common method. Backlog items are developed into user stories that are then implemented. This could happen prior to the iteration or during planning, or even during the process of iteration. Although any team member can write acceptance criteria and stories, the PO keeps the flow in check.
3. Program Execution
Agile teams and Iterations serve a bigger purpose:
The regular, consistent, reliable publication of value-added solutions. Each PI The PO is responsible for coordinating dependencies between other POs. This is usually the case during the weekly PO event syncs (see this PI page for additional details).
The PO is also responsible for playing a pivotal role in preparing a vital System Demo for program and Value Stream stakeholders.
Difference Between a Scrum Master and a Product Owner
The significant distinction between a Scrum Master and a Product Owner is the project coordination and interactions with essential stakeholders. A Scrum Master is an experienced professional in Agile methods and practices.
A Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the message is conveyed correctly and that development methodologies be based on the best practices of Agile.
Empathy is an essential virtue in Scrum and Agile methods. This is crucial for Product Owners and Scrum Directors as they must encourage the team members to work in a team in adherence to Agile methodologies.
Product Owner Certification
Scrum.org equips three levels of (Professional Scrum Product Owner certification)PSPO.
- PSPO1 provides comprehension of Scrum Framework and how to utilize it to maximize the product’s value.
- PSPO2 demonstrates advanced knowledge of the Scrum framework supports creating value and how it can be achieved on the ground.
- PSPO3 shows a high understanding of creating a vision, controlling a product backlog, and collaborating with stakeholders and customers to create valuable products using Scrum.
To summarize, a Product Owner needs to be knowledgeable in the domain of business and the industry. To better comprehend customers’ requirements to translate those requirements into requirements for the product, the Product Owner needs to know the business logic and technological capabilities that the products offer.
Having the role of a Product Owner is vital since it plays the primary job in ensuring the supply of top quality products and maximizing the value of products to meet the needs of the client’s vision of the product. However, professional certification is a must, and in this case, it is a matter of two certifications: PSPO vs CSPO certification.
This agile framework allows cross-functional and collaborative teams to complete projects in smaller chunks.