“Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have.” – Pat Summit
A product owner of an agile team is a key role in managing the stakeholder’s needs and is the sole ambassador of the agile team to the stakeholder. They ensure that there is a clear understanding amongst the stakeholders and the agile team. The product owner also demonstrates the final solution to the stakeholders. They are responsible for negotiating and obtaining the funding for the development of the product and then educating the agile team about the business side.
What it takes to be a Product Owner?
A product owner is usually a business analyst, business stakeholder, IT stakeholder or a Product Manager. Presenting a strong vision, motivating and heightening the team’s morale is what a product owner should do best. Their commitment and dedication towards attaining the common goal is paramount. This is done by possessing a clear and in-depth knowledge of the market and its users. This shall be conveyed brilliantly by the product owner’s effective and emphatic communication skills.
One of the key responsibilities of a product owner is to regularly interact face to face with the team and the stakeholders including customers. They are also responsible for defining the features of the product.
As mentioned before, they are the sole ambassador of the agile team to the stakeholder. It becomes tasking when the product owner is expected to have all the information related to the product that is being created.
And it becomes challenging when big decisions have to be made by a single person. In cases like these, their responsibility is often distributed amongst multiple individuals to assist them. They can also seek insight from stakeholders into the matters they are unaware of.
Role of a Product Owner in an Agile Team
A product owner of an agile team owns the product backlog. They prioritize the features in the backlog that the development team has to complete. The product owner is aware of the pace the teams operate. Thus new requirements are only added once the previous ones are done. A product owner determines the release dates.
A very important tool that helps in making the product owner’s job easy is the agile product roadmap.It is an extensive and highly detailed plan of the things to achieve that spans over for a long period of time. It maintains the vision of the product and keeps the stakeholders aware of what will be made. This produces a transparent view that gives the customer an idea of what to expect from the product in the long run. It also gives an idea of how much budget that needs to be set for the releases to come.
There are three ways how product roadmaps are constructed. Anyone of these formats can be used, it depends on personal preference.
As the name suggests, you list the goals that you want to achieve. Product owners usually list their end goals. They list product features in the form of Epics as well. This supports thinking about the most valuable and important things that need to be done. Which maintains focus. It presents a general overview of what the product would become. You can write the dates or leave them out, your choice.
This roadmap format breaks down the tasks that are being done now, what will be done next and later further ahead in time. But this is more feature centric rather than goal-centric. You can not list the dates or timelines.
It presents an overview of what needs to be done. It is good for providing a starting point without worrying too much about listing all the features and goals.
Roadmap in Yodiz
Product managers using Yodiz can create Project Roadmaps and visualize multiple projects timelines at the same time. It is a straightforward way to plan and align timeline of your sprints, releases, and epics. You can set the goals you want to achieve and the timeline in which you want to achieve. You can prioritize which tasks need to be done first. The progress is visualized in the roadmap is illustrated and represented in the form of Gantt Charts.
So in hindsight, the Project Roadmap in Yodiz is rather a combination of all the salient features listed in the aforementioned roadmap templates. This unique combination gives the user the unsurpassed experience of creating a Project Roadmap with absolute ease.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Mistakes made by Product Owner in Agile Teams
A roadmap is meant to guide the team, stakeholders and the customers to the future of the product. It describes the purpose of the product. But a common mistake made by product owners is that they overload the roadmap with too many features without knowing their team’s potential. This shifts the focus on adding as much value as possible and therefore neglect the true essence of the roadmap. Looking at Team velocity and good collaboration with development team helps product owners to avoid such situations.
Ideally for one agile team, there is one Product Owner. At times, a single product owner ends up representing more than one team. This leads to the bombardment of tasks which becomes difficult for the product owner to manage. Proxy product owners try to fill in the gap and are asked to take care of their work which is not a good idea. In addition to primary responsibilities, such as product backlog grooming, sprint planning, sprint demo, and retrospective. The product owner capacity must be taken into account and make sure that product owner is available for the team queries as well. In the end, this will save wasted hours due to not clear guidelines and also increase chances of the project success.
Yodiz is an innovation leader in Agile Project Management tools. We have customers from 60+ countries who get benefit of using seamless experience of agile practices without worrying about setup and administration settings.
If you would like to talk with Yodiz to see how you can benefit from an agile management tool, then contact us and we will arrange a meeting for you with one of our experts.