An agile product owner is responsible for overseeing a development team’s tasks and making sure that the value of the products that said team builds is maximised. These professionals work with stakeholders to create a vision of products they wish to create and communicate that vision to team members.
What is an Agile Product Owner?
A product owner (PO) is a valuable member of the team who is responsible for maximising the value of products that an Agile development team builds.
In some organisations, the product owner in a scrum project may also be called Scrum masters or Scrum product owners.
These professionals are cross-functional and are responsible for interacting with several departments and teams including:
- Product team members
- Product users,
- Senior management team
Because more and more companies are seeing the value that Agile provides, such as increased visibility and product quality, the need for professionals in this field is more urgent now than it has ever been.
Who does a product owner report to in agile? Product owners usually report to product managers in an agile environment.
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Responsibilities of an Agile Product Owner
An agile product owner is responsible for developing a roadmap and incorporating feature requests into said roadmap. They work with cross-functional teams to drive products and features from concept to launch.
Professionals in this field develop user stories and define acceptance criteria and manage, groom and prioritise product and development backlogs.
They also translate product roadmap features into well-defined product requirements and are in charge of setting sprint goals.
What are the responsibilities of an agile PO?
- Defining vision for the team’s product
- Developing a roadmap based on vision
- Incorporating feature requests into roadmap
- Work with cross-functional teams to drive products and features from concept to launch
- Developing user stories
- Defining acceptance criteria
- Managing, grooming and prioritising product and development backlogs
- Translating product roadmap features into well-defined product requirements
- Setting sprint goals
- Mitigating roadblocks to achieving sprint/release goals
- Adjusting and making changes to each iteration of the product before release
- Liaising with the product team and end-users to deliver updates
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What makes a good Agile Product Owner?
A good product owner has a combination of good technical knowledge and business acumen. In terms of technical skills, they have hands-on experience managing all stages of the product life cycle as well as in-depth knowledge of agile methodology for project management.
They also have working knowledge of product development architecture and understanding of business value related to features and functions.
These professionals possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills and have excellent communication skills. They also have good organisational skills and an understanding of design quality standards.
Skills of an agile PO:
- Hands-on experience with managing all stages of the product life cycle
- In-depth knowledge of agile methodology
- Working knowledge of product development architecture
- Understanding of business value related to features and functions
- Proficiency in the use of analytic tools
- Strong analytical skills
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Good organisational skills
- Understanding of design quality standards
- Strong presentation skills
- Ability to work with large teams
Background and education
An agile product owner typically has a Bachelor’s degree. This can be in Computer Science, Information Systems, Engineering, or a related field.
Training in product management is also useful as is having relevant certifications. Check out options for some of these certifications down below:
- Professional Scrum Product Owner™ Training
- SAFe® Product Owner/Product Manager
- Product Owner Fundamentals – IIBA Endorsed
- Complete Agile Scrum Product Owner Certification Training
How much do Agile Product Owners make?
Agile product owners make around $120,000 per year on average in the US. On the lower end, these professionals can make around $97,000 per year whereas on the higher end, they can make around $148,000 per year.
In Germany, they make around €68,000 – €90,000 per year whereas in the UK, they make around £47,000 – £71,000. In Spain, the income is around €40,000 – €56,000 per year.
Keep in mind that these figures can change depending on the company, location, position and skills of the individual in question.
Salary of an agile PO:
|US||$97,000 – $148,000|
|Germany||€68,000 – €90,000|
|UK||£47,000 – £71,000|
|Spain||€40,000 – €56,000|
How much do freelance product owners make?
Agile Product Owners on freelancermap charge on average:
Rates in the Agile Product Owner industry range between $40 and $96/hour for most freelancers.
The daily rate for Agile Product Owners (8 working hours) would be around:
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