If you have never participated in the process of building an application, you probably do not know what your responsibilities are. Regardless of whether you are an Entrepreneur looking to launch the next Facebook or a manager looking to increase efficiency within your company by building a web application to streamline your marketing reports, your responsibility as the Product Owner is the same.
A Product Owner is the person who is responsible for working with the user community (target audience) to determine what features will be a product release. The Product Owner acts as a liaison between the customers (internal or external) and the development team. Your role as the Product Owner is to set the direction and the goals and objectives of the product and make sure that it stays on path.
The Product Owner must have a clear understanding of:
- the problem to solve
- the features that are needed
- the business domain
- the various users types
- the development process
The Product Owner’s responsibilities are:
- Being the voice of the customer.
- Understanding and delivering on ROI.
- Maintaining constant communication with the development team.
- Writing user stories and scenarios.
- Maintaining product backlog.
- Participating in Sprint in the development and testing of the application and providing feedback.
- Monitoring progress and making constant adjustments based on larger strategic objectives.
Bottom line, the buck stops with you! You are solely responsible for setting the direction of the product, the feature set, the backlog and setting priorities. You cannot have decisions made by committee. If you have business partners, one person must have the final say, one person must be the Product Owner.
All of this might seem overwhelming at first, but you can do it! Don’t be afraid to “get your hands dirty”, you should be one of the first ones to test the application, really get to know the application inside and out. Your success will depend on this and the ability to be active listener and a good communicator. It’s a big responsibility, take a deep breath, you got this!