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 and 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:
- 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 is allowed to tell the Development Team to work from a different set of requirements, and the Development Team isn’t allowed to act on what anyone else says.
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.
Videos and Webcasts
Myths, Misconceptions, & Mysteries of Product Ownership - Listen to five of the most respected Scrum.org PSPO Trainers – Ralph Jocham, Mark Noneman, Erik Weber, Hiren Doshi, and Simon Reindl in our Scrum Pulse Lean Café on Product Ownership as they guide an enquiry through the mysteries of product ownership.
How Do You Define a Product? As part of the Scrum Tapas video series, we take a peek into a conversation with Professional Scrum Trainers, Ravi Verma, Chad Beier, Charles Bradley and Victor Oliveira as they discuss what it means to be a product. How you define product and when you should combine different pieces into a single product.
How One Product Owner Can Support Multiple Scrum Teams - As part of the Scrum Tapas video series, Professional Scrum Trainer, Charles Bradley discusses ways that a Product Owner can spread their knowledge across multiple Scrum Teams. He looks at a few techniques and refinement activities.
- Read the Scrum Glossary to learn more about many of the important terms of Scrum.
- Listen to the Product Owner Podcast featuring Scrum.org CEO Dave West.
- A Product Owner Self-Assessment
- The Product Owner as Steward
- Evolution of the Product Owner
- 15 Things a Professional Scrum Product Owner Actually Does
- Good Product Owners Delete Product Backlog Items
- 18 Characteristics of a Great Product Owner
- What Product Ownership Might Entangle
- You can find many books on the subject of Product Owner here.
- Visit the Scrum Blog and Forums