Tips For Starting Product Owners

By Robbin Schuurman

In this blog, we’ll cover some tips and tools for starting Product Owners, to help you in your new role. The Product Owner role is a brand new role in many organizations and it’s a role which can’t be compared to traditional roles, such as project managers or business analysts.

A Product Owner in it’s most beneficial form acts like an Entrepreneur, like a ‘mini-CEO’. The Product Owner is someone who really ‘owns’ the product. This is something quite different from a project manager (PM) or business analyst (BA) role, where ‘the business’ typically ‘owns’ the product and where the PM or BA act more like a proxy between the (project) sponsor and the supplier (IT for example). The Product Owner as an Entrepreneur owns the Product, the Product Vision, the Product Roadmap and the Products’ budget. So ideally, the Product Owner is profit-and-loss accountable for the Product.

What I see in many organizations, however, is that the Product Owner role is implemented on a ‘lower’ level of the Product Owner Maturity model. So, most Product Owners I encounter are actually Scribes, Proxy’s or Business Representatives. In this blog, we’ll cover some tips for the starting Product Owner. In another blog (which will follow soon) we’ll cover tips for more advanced Product Owners (on the Entrepreneurial level).

Okay, so you just started as a Product Owner, what should be your first steps? Below I’ve defined some important steps you should take as a Product Owner.

Important remark:
Beware that these steps aren’t necessarily sequential. Although I found it helpful to perform the following steps in this order, you might want to change some stuff around of course. Don’t misuse these steps to prevent you from getting started! The purpose of these steps is not to perform them all, before you ever start your first Sprint. You’ll want to start your first Sprint as soon as possible, deliver a done increment and work on these steps as you’re learning new things.

Step 1: Form the Scrum Team & collaborate with them.
As a Scrum Product Owner, you only need one thing in order to get started, which is your Scrum Team! You’ll need someone to help you guide the process, coach you and your team and to solve impediments, which is your Scrum Master. And of course, you’ll need some people to develop and maintain the product, which are the people in your Development Team. Your first step as a Product Owner should therefore be to get you yourself a Scrum Team. In all the following steps, make sure you collaborate with them to increase your chances for success, but also to get the team enthusiastic, motivated, involved and to use their knowledge and experiences.

Step 2: Get clarity on the (product) vision.
Many Product Owners start as scribes, proxy’s or business representatives on the Product Owner maturity model. Ideally, you’d be the person who defines the vision, but what I see typically is that starting Product Owners are appointed in their role by the organization and typically do not Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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