Who is an Agile product owner?
You all know the answer to this. An agile product owner is a member of the Agile team who is responsible for defining the user stories and finding out the team backlogs from it to streamline the execution of program priorities while maintaining the conceptual and technical integrity.
Now, let us ask you,
what is a good Agile product owner?
Before you answer this, let us tell you about some anti-pattern product owners. Lasse Ziegler, an Agile coach and lean consultant with over 10 years of experience in difficult software development projects and software product development categorized these anti-pattern product owners based on the worst-case scenarios he has seen in the field of product owners.
They are as follows:
◉ No Power Product Owner: Product owner has no ability to decide anything
◉ Too Busy Product Owner: A product owner who is in so many projects at the same the time that he ends up having time for none.
◉ The Half Product Owner: A product owner who has been reduced to almost nothing else than a user story writing machine.
◉ The Faraway Product Owner: The product owner is in a different time zone and doesn’t have any common time during the day where they can sit down at the same
You don’t want to turn into any of them, do you?
Of course not!
In this blog, we’re going to tell you about the qualities you need to acquire to become a good product owner. Not only that, once you have these qualities in you, you can be sure that you will never even by mistake turn into an anti-pattern among above.
In Lasse’s opinion, the role of a product owner is slightly neglected in the scrum since people focus a lot on team and scrum master. However, the product owner is the most important role when it comes to product management. Because even if you have the best team in the world or best ever scrum master, if they don’t know the direction of their workflow, then what’s the point?
A good Agile Product Owner works as a tour guide who provides you the direction so that you can realize if you are making the right product or not. We have sorted out
5 must-have qualities of a good Agile product owner for you.
Have a look!
1. Explain the stakeholders the reason behind working Agile
Agile is no more a luxury nowadays. It’s a necessity. Agile is a mindset that helps to run the projects smoothly. It helps you to maintain the high quality of the product, lower cost of product development, faster market release, more customer satisfaction and retention, lower risk of product delivery and greater flexibility of feature releases.
If you are working as an Agile Product Owner, you might have seen that there are still a lot of stakeholders who think that the traditional way of product development is way better than Agile. The most important one of an Agile Product Owner’s responsibilities is to make them understand why is it best to go Agile.
2. Be Product Oriented instead of being Project Oriented
What’s the difference between a project and a product?
A project is a temporary endeavor that is undertaken to create a unique product or service.
A product is an entity that can be introduced to the market to satisfy a need or to solve the problem.
Every product has a life cycle that covers different stages between being conceived, developed and then introduced and managed in the market.
So you can understand, multiple projects can occur in a product’s life cycle.
Hence, a product doesn’t have a proper deadline like projects till the time the product is being adopted, used and valued by the customers.
When you are a product owner, you need to keep this in mind that you’ll have to take care of multiple projects under the product till the time your product is being successful.
3. Act as a delegator and a developer at the same time
As a product owner, you need to be a multi-tasker. Certainly, taking care of so many projects is kind of an impossible task for one person. This is why you need to delegate and build an informal team for yourself that you help you out in looking over everything.
Besides being the delegator, you need to be a developer as well when you are a product owner. You might have a development team, but everything pans out well when you have knowledge about development since you will be able to understand each and every step in depth. Because along with being a team lead, you are a part of the team too!
4. Avoid conflicts in a tactical way
This one comes handy when you are in the process of running multiple projects at the same time and all of them are aimed at the same goal. Isn’t it?
There will be multiple teams, miscommunication, and a resultant – conflict.
As a product owner, you need to have the ability to resolve the conflicts and find a solution when things get out of hand.
You need to be an effective escalator as well. Escalation is feedback to management that management has deployed conflicting goals. As a good product owner, you should have a good conflict escalation mechanism ready to go.
5. Know how to delight your customers
Keep this in mind always, if you are a product owner, you are more than just an administrator who just listens to the stakeholders and keeps adding it to the product backlog.
You have to become the mouthpiece and the face of your product so that your customers can keep faith in your product by keeping faith in you.