A product manager’s role is quite extensive, which makes it confusing and a bit difficult to fully understand the scope of their role. The scrum approach to agile development puts the product manager in the role of product owner. What exactly does it mean to be the product owner in this system?
Definition of Product Owner
According to Scrum Alliance, a product owner is one who has the “final authority representing the customer’s interest in backlog prioritization and requirements questions. This person must be available to the team at any time, but especially during the sprint planning meeting and the sprint review meeting.” Given this definition, the product manager’s main role is to decide what is best for the customer.
Responsibilities of a Scrum Product Manager
Beyond this definition, a product manager will also be in charge of writing user stories, themes, and epics and accept the stories once they have been completed by the development team. They will also have to facilitate estimation sessions and backlog grooming efforts, coordinate user acceptance testing and other external validation efforts, and represent the team within the organization.
Needless to say, the product manager’s roles as product owner requires them to support the scrum team, providing them with significant information about their customers and the market so that they can create valuable products and improvements.
Aside from closely collaborating with the development team, a product manager has other responsibilities to fulfill. For one, they will have to maintain and manage the strategic direction of their product and the business as a whole, which requires them to constantly communicate with the customers, prospects, and the market. The product manager is also expected to know everything that is happening within the entire organization, including any issues being faced by support teams, onboarding issues experienced by the clients, marketing messages released, and other product details that indirectly impact the efforts of the development teams.
The Key to Succeeding
If you would spend a whole week side by side with a product manager, you will be able to get a sense of how demanding the work really is. However, while it seems like the role of product manager and product owner is extremely daunting, balancing and delegating are two things a product manager can do to ensure that they succeed. You don’t need to attend product management training to know the importance of delegation. Delegating is a great way to establish trust within your organization and identifying capable individuals will not only make your job much more manageable, it will also make you much more efficient.
When you are out engaging with the customers, assign responsible and qualified individuals to act as product owner. Make sure that they keep you updated with major decisions. The outcome is a win-win situation for everyone. The product manager is able to do everything with the help of everyone else in the organization, and members of their teams are able to take on greater responsibilities which train and prepare them future career developments.
Michelle Rubio has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on product management training such as those offered by ProductSchool.com.