What is a Product Owner?

Learn About the Role of the Product Owner

As described in the Scrum Guide, a Scrum Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.

The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:

Product Backlog
                           Product Backlog
  • Clearly expressing Product Backlog items.
  • Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions.
  • Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs.
  • Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next.
  • Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.

The Product Owner may do the above work, or have the Development Team do it. However, the Product Owner remains accountable.

The Product Owner is one person, not a committee. The Product Owner may represent the desires of a committee in the Product Backlog, but those wanting to change a Product Backlog item’s priority must address the Product Owner.

For the Product Owner to succeed, the entire organization must respect his or her decisions. The Product Owner’s decisions are visible in the content and ordering of the Product Backlog. No one can force the Development Team to work from a different set of requirements.

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Product Owner Training

The Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO) course is a 2-day course on how to maximize the value of software products and systems. Product Owners need to have a concrete understanding of everything that drives value from their products where students learn through instruction and team-based exercises. 

Product Owner Certification

Scrum.org provides 2 levels of Professional Scrum Product Owner certification.  

  • PSPO I demonstrates an intermediate understanding of the Scrum Framework and how to apply it to maximize the value delivered with a product.
  • PSPO II demonstrates an advanced level of understanding of how the Scrum framework can support the creation of value, and how to achieve it in the real world.

Product owner Learning Path

Already a Product Owner or ready to start your journey?  Visit our Product Owner Learning Path to take a guided tour through suggested resources for continued learning for Scrum Masters.