Product Owner Role Description

“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you’ve killed my father, prepare to die”

In the classic movie “The Princess Bride”, the lead character gives a perfect description of his role. He opens with a polite greeting, shares relevant personal details and manages expectation. When it comes to Product Owner Role descriptions they are rarely that clear.

Right off the bat, I am no HR, nor recruitment professional but every now and then I get a request for a role description of the Product Owner, and despite the fact that I think the job is Product Management and the Product Ownership is the role on the Scrum Team, many seem eager to get a more detailed description than the Scrum Guide provides.

So here is an example that you could use in your organisation:

Purpose

The product owner is accountable for the end-to-end ownership and delivery of the ‘product’ (e.g. a service or solution,). He or she owns the product vision and definition of the product. The product owner represents the voice of the customer and is responsible to ensure alignment with all relevant stakeholders. The product owner creates, maintains and orders the Product Backlog providing the team with required information what needs to be delivered and in which order. He or she owns the end-to-end budget for the product, e.g. resources, investment, consultancy and technology.

Key Responsibilities

Agile practices

  • Works in collaboration with the business or end user to establish requirements in the form of Product Backlog Items;
  • Maintains and refines the Product Backlog;
  • Works with the Development Team to plan the Sprints including deciding on Sprint Goal;
  • Decides the order in which content is delivered with input from the team;
  • Ensures pre-conditions for an engaging and empowering work environment so the team can work optimally;
  • Remains engaged and responsive to Development team throughout the product lifecycle;
  • Available to the Product team throughout the Sprint to clarify understanding of requirements and to answer any questions the team might have.

Product Value

  • Responsible for the success of the product (incl. P&L, if applicable);
  • Defines the product vision, strategy, release and sprint goals;
  • Establishes and communicates the vision of the product;
  • Realizes value in determining priorities;
  • Responsible to acquire and manage product budget;
  • Responsible for sourcing and managing partners in alignment with Procurement;
  • Communicates expectations to the product team;
  • Owns the user experience, understands end user business value, and prioritizes accordingly;
  • Represents the end user, customer and stakeholders. Ensures true end-user needs are appropriately built into the product.

Experience / Skills

  • Inspiring leader with strong relationships within the organization to influence, support and drive priorities;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others and navigate complex decision making;
  • Knows how to delegate;
  • Knows how to own leadership, people and stakeholder management skills;
  • Has a deep understanding of the business and the importance of creating value for the business and the customer;
  • Extensive business domain expertise for the relevant product;
  • Excellent communication skills (both verbal and in writing);
  • Strong background in customer-focused technology business;
  • An entrepreneurial mind-set and an ability to connect with internal and external audiences including senior management;
  • Able to push back, but also able to pull when necessary;

If you’re a Product Owner, Product Manager with about a year (or more) of experience under your belt, go and explore the Stances of the Product Owner in the Professional Scrum Product Owner-Advanced class. Find a trainer to your liking or in your area, and deepen and expand your Product Management knowledge and skills. And let us know what you think about the training! What did you like? What can be improved? Let’s collaborate to take the profession of Product Ownership to the next level.

If you’d like to experience the all-new Professional Scrum Product Owner-Advanced class, go to Scrum.org to find a class in your area. If you’d like to participate in one of our classes, check out our Xebia Academy page for more information or inquire for an in-house class via training@xebia.com.

Want to join our Scrum.org Product Owner-Advanced Training? Click the banner to find a course.

Agile Product Management inspired by eastern martial arts