12 May The Project Owner role – a team effort
When Agile methodologies and specifically SCRUM broke through about ten years ago the Product Owner role was often described as a visionary individual, whose task was to talk to the users and break down their needs into well sized “stories”. With time the picture of the product owner’s task broadened.
A Product Owner should, for instance, have the ability to understand what the users want rather then what they ask for. And when people describe solutions the Product Owner should try to understand their underlying needs. A Product Owner should also understand that people and conversations tend to start out from where we stand today, rather than where we will reach to. The function of the Product Owner is achieving a delicate balance between what is valuable, useful and feasible, where it is necessary to draw multitude of ideas, but also to weigh, focus and prioritise, in order to produce a development plan together with his development team.
In this process it is the product owner’s top priority task to continually deliver many small slices of the product where each slice is a step forward in meeting the customer’s needs.
A picture emerges of a surprisingly complex assignment, that has come to take the form of the most important challenge in agile development projects. One can see that the role of the product owner cannot be one of an individual. In Nordic River we understand that the role has a multidisciplinary function, that should be seen as a systematic process carried out by a team.