There are a few ways you can describe a product owner. One way is to describe what they do – as in their roles and responsibilities.
Another way is to describe the behaviors they exhibit and the skills they have. In most cases, this approach seems to be more helpful, because it gives you a better idea of what you need to work on to become a product owner that your teams want to work with.
When I think of product owner behaviors, I immediately think of “the big three”:
- Focus the team on outcome over output
- Build shared understanding
- Make sure decisions get made
I’m not the only one to have given this topic some thought. Included in this week’s issue of Inside Product are 23 other skills and behaviors that product owners should exhibit.
Yes, some of them are duplicated. That may give an indication of which ones are the most important.
I also included a link to a workshop that you can bring to your organization to help you and your product owner peers exhibit these skills and behaviors.
7 Skills You Need to be a Great Product Owner
Lowell Lindstrom has found that the people who are best suited to be product owners thrive on accountability, visibility, and the art of negotiation. He also points out nuances to those qualities which result in 7 skills that you need to be a great product owner.
He used those 7 skills as the basis of his talk at Agile2017 – How to be a Great Agile Product Owner. (You need to be an Agile Alliance Subscriber to view the video)
5 Key Skills Great Product Owners Have
Richard Lawrence identified 5 key skills that you can use to help you identify and describe the right thing at all of the appropriate levels of detail. If you’re able to do that, you are well on your way to being a great product owner.
5 Market-Facing Skills for (Some) Agile Product Owners
Rich Mironov took a look at product ownership through a product management lens and identified 5 skills you may find useful if you’re working in a situation that’s between solely internal applications and software you sell for revenue. Think all of those products that spring up as a result of a “digital transformation” such as customer facing websites and mobile apps.
6 Behaviors of DRIVEN Product Owners
Geoff Watts recently appeared on the Mastering Business Analysis podcast where he discussed how product owners should be DRIVEN (Decisive, Ruthless, Informed, Versatile, Empowering, Negotiable). It’s a good listen, if for no other reason to find out what he really means by “ruthless”.
Effective Product Ownership Workshop
Effective Product Ownership is the collection of customer-focused skills and techniques that organizations and teams use to determine the right things to deliver.
The key aspects of effective Product Ownership include:
- Focus on Outcome over Output
- Build and maintain a shared understanding
- Make sure decisions get made
If you would like to be a more effective product owner, you may want to consider bringing the Effective Product Ownership workshop to your organization. In this workshop, you will learn how to effectively utilize product ownership techniques in your own environment..