The role of a product owner is linked closely to agile transformation.
At the most basic level, an agile product owner, or scrum product owner, is the leader responsible for maximizing the value of the products created by ascrum development team, which is a new way of working in a group dynamic.
An agile product owner takes on several roles, including business strategist, product designer, market analyst, customer liaison, and project manager. In short, agile product owners are an integral part of any larger scrum team.
The scrum product owner takes the lead in many areas of product development. One day they will need to access their deep well of market knowledge to strategise and present their vision to stakeholders another day they will need to roll up their sleeves to help the team meet their goals during a sprint.
Product owners are responsible for communicating with stakeholders across the organisation, including customers, business managers, and the development team to make sure the goals are clear and the vision is aligned with business objectives and budgets.
Having a product owner with a higher perspective ensures that the team maintains a cohesive vision in the flexible and often fast-paced nature of agile product development. Everyone needs to be on the same page in order for a project to work effectively.
Another key role of the product owner is to prioritise needs of the project and group. In other words, they must juggle the triangle of scope, budget, and time, weighing priorities according to the needs and objectives of stakeholders.
During the planning stages, the agile product owner works with internal and external stakeholders to identify and organize the steps required for the next iteration. They will then meet with their team to refine the process, identify areas for improvement and support the sprint.
The product owner is accountable for each stage of the development process and the final product. They take a primary central role in inspecting and evaluating product progress through each iteration. The product owner makes the judgment call on the performance, deciding if the team needs to go back to the drawing board or if they can move on to the next steps.