Important Skills For A Good Product Owner

Important Skills For A Good Product Owner

“One of the Scrum rules is that work cannot be pushed onto a team; the Product Owner offers items for the iteration, and the team pulls as many as they decide they can do at a sustainable pace with good quality.”

  • Craig Larman.

So it is a Product Owner who brings the processes into execution. A Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) plays a crucial role in the Scrum team who thrives on responsibility, visibility, and the art of negotiation.

Today, Agile has become a standard practice for the organizations and the scrum framework is gaining popularity worldwide, thereby making the demand for scrum product owners skyrocket. Moreover, the shortage of skilled and certified product owners has made the salaries shoot up. The average annual salary of a CSPO in India is around INR 21,31,986, as stated by Glassdoor.

That’s whopping!

The majority of Fortune 500 companies are adopting the Scrum framework and hence they are required to hire CSPOs. Some of them are HP, Dell, Cisco, SAP, Tata Consultancy Services, Oracle, Infosys, Accenture, etc.

A recent PMI Talent Gap Report states that there are to be 16 million project management jobs by 2020, so there have to be a plethora of opportunities for CSPOs as they form a part of project management.

What is Scrum?

As defined by Wikipedia, “Scrum is an agile framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products with an initial emphasis on software development, although it has been used in other fields including research, sales, marketing, and advanced technologies.”

Scrum Roles

There are three roles that define Scrum:

  • Product Owner
  • Scrum Master
  • Development Team

A Product owner plays a vital role in a Scrum Team. let us read about this role in brief.

Who is a Scrum Product Owner?

Simply put, a product owner possesses the product backlog, fabricates user stories, and communicates with stakeholders and the scrum team as well.

But, is it all about a product owner?

Let’s look at a well-known quote by Roman Pichler of Agile Product Management.

The product owner plans, distribute, composes, and tracks work from his/her level down.”

So, a product owner is accountable for enhancing the value of the product that results from the work of the Development Team. the typical responsibilities of a product owner are:

  • Maintaining the product backlog by ensuring that it is transparent, visible, and clear.
  • Training the team for achieving the desired goals by the deadline.
  • Interacting with the scrum team and the stakeholders.
  • Improving the value of work and taking sensible decisions.
  • Participating actively in the meetings and managing team economics.
  • Ensuring lucidity into the future work of the product development team.

To become an outstanding product owner and carry out the responsibilities efficiently, you require some critical skills.

Important Skills Required

  • Customer Influencer

Apart from being an administrator, you need to listen carefully to the stakeholders and process the information. Moreover, identifying the latent needs that your customer is unable to imagine or specify is also your task. Thinking beyond the usual requirements and upgrading the product accordingly can influence your customers potentially.

  • A Great Storyteller

You are required to go ahead of the mechanics of putting the user’s story into the backlog and send it to developers. You have to think about the actions to be taken that will transform the story into a product feature that a customer likes.

  • A Good Representative

A representative or a delegator is typically the one who acts for another role. It is difficult for one person to perform all the duties of a product owner. So, as a product owner, to keep thriving, you can make your own informal team of required professionals helps you with executing the tasks required.

Though there is one person designated to be a product owner in the Scrum framework, being a delegator and making your own team may let you perform the tasks that you find difficult for yourself.

For example, if you are not good at the technical part, you can hire an IT professional to compensate for the same.

  • Developer

It’s not all about owning a backlog, creating user stories, and handing them over to the development team for further development required. Being a part of the team, you are required to guide on what actually is the product to be built.

  • Conflict Resolver

Working in a team, there are times when there are issues or conflicts that arise while working together. To get out of these critical situations, you have to be an excellent conflict resolver, be collaborative to minimize the issues and act as a negotiator.

  • Knowledge Negotiator

To represent the product backlog, you are required to have a detailed knowledge of the product inside out. You need to act as an interface between the stakeholders and the development team. So, to enable the collaboration and authorize the developers, you need to find out the right people for discussion. Further, you need to be in the loop if changes are to be made after discussions.

  • Effective Escalator

You will face the times when you need to give feedback to the management stating that there are conflicting goals. After that, you need to move back to the team. You need to inculcate the ability to move up to the management chain and to resolve the issues, coming back down to the team. In other words, escalating within the team should be easy for you to become a good product owner.

Conclusion

To become a Certified Scrum Product Owner or CSPO, you are required to attend two-day CSPO training facilitated by CST, review the CSPO participant workbook, then download the CSPO certificate sent by Scrum Alliance. Getting certified will help you become a preferred candidate by the recruiters.

To make the learning journey trouble-free, you should go with an online training course. The learning goes easy, with flexible learning hours and also at your own pace. The mode of learning is also your choice.

Enroll now to get certified!

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