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What does a Product Owner do?

Product Owner is a role from the Scrum framework. And according to the booklet, the role is: "The Product Owner is accountable for maximising the value of the product resulting from the work of the Scrum Team." Yes, that sounds nice doesn't it? But how do you do that in practice? 

It starts, of course, with the product. What is it? Is the product physical, digital or even a service? And what if you are part of the chain to work with other teams on the product or service? On this page you will find all the answers to these and more questions. 

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A day in the life of a PO...

What does your day look like as a Product Owner? You start with your first conversation at the coffee machine about the latest version of your product or service. Interesting, of course, and immediately you ask yourself, "Do we actually have feedback from our customers yet?" "Oh, and that question of marketing..., how do I tackle that? Just going by to find out exactly what they want to achieve with their question."

Your Scrum Master comes to report: the development team is running late. Are we going to be able to run our A/B test? And if not, what can we do! A word with Nico, our sales manager, who asked for the A/B test.

Telephone! Your day has begun!


The core of work as PO

To discover exactly what value you are maximising all day, it is useful that you are and remain in conversation with your target audience.


You obviously want to have a good understanding of what is important to your target audience. Who are you actually realising that value for? Who came up with the idea?

Before you know it, you are busy doing what we in Scrum call: stakeholder management.

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PO in practice

In practice, as a PO, you spend about 80% of your time in close contact with your stakeholders. And that is smart because they determine the value you are maximising. Ideas become business cases and finally smaller work packages that end up on your backlog to be realised by your team(s). And this is where your value maximisation skills come in handy. If you understand why something is important to your target audience and also know how to figure out exactly what that 'something' is, you can easily assign value to that idea, that improvement, extension or simplification of your product. You put smaller work packages (called backlog items in Scrum) in order: the most important at the top. And together with your team(s), you decide what will be realised and when. How will it be realised? Better leave that to your specialists in your (product) development team.  

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Agile Roles

Within Agile thinking, there are, besides Product Owner, different roles: Agile Coach, Scrum Master, (Product/Service) Developers. But also Agile manager or people manager. Learn more about what these roles mean in practice in our Agile and Scrum training courses.

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