What are the roles and responsibilities product owner?

Last post 05:57 pm November 19, 2021
by Amanda Elliott
3 replies
06:45 am December 6, 2019

I work as Product Owner for a scrum team and as a scrum trainer, I would like to seek advice on the product owner role.

I feel, product owner holds the vision for product, represents business interests and customers, owns and prioritizes product backlog, creates acceptance criteria and answers the queries from team/stakeholders. The product owner is the business face and directs team towards most valuable work to maximize ROI. Product owner role is to make sure team fully understands the requirements so that those are implemented correctly to avoid waste of time building wrong thing. I feel product owner is not the manager of the team. Team is self-organizing to take their decisions.

However, I had an experience that, management hold product owner solely responsible for delay in deliveries and not achieving goals. Team worked on the goals or stories in prioritized order set by product owner. I believe, entire team is responsible for such delays. Why should just product owner? Were the stories not groomed, were the stories incomplete/incorrect, were the stories unavailable? If yes, then product owner is solely responsible and if no, then entire team is responsible for missing the commitment.

Also, management says that, since we don’t have formal manager role in agile scrum world and thus functional managers are not intervening in the scrum activities like they did in waterfall era. So, product owner is the face of scrum team to outsiders and thus, product owner should take complete control over team. I believe, ideally no one should take control over scrum team but scrum master should mentor team. Team output is product delivery whereas scrum master deliverable is high performing team. If team is not high performing then is scrum master responsible for it?

Team is inspecting the mistakes but still unable to adapt then it is the entire team fault – why just product owner? Please advise if my views are correct and suggest on how to resolve this conflict of opinions.

08:51 pm December 6, 2019

However, I had an experience that, management hold product owner solely responsible for delay in deliveries

What delay in deliveries? Isn't an increment delivered every Sprint? Shouldn't the Product Owner be held accountable for its value?

04:31 am December 7, 2019

In the business world, you have to be pragmatic. 

Agile or not, somebody will be held accountable for perceived risks and failures. When it comes to Product Development, Product Management and Product Marketing, the Product Manager, or Product Owner, is going to have to answer to leadership.

05:03 pm November 19, 2021

Is there a job description for a Product Owner anywhere?