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Skills Required to be a Good Product Owner

Updated: Apr 3

We are all aware that with higher positions comes greater responsibility. In agile, a product owner is one of the roles that has higher responsibilities and requires a different set of skills compared to other team members. The role of the product owner is central to the agile framework and methodology. To be a good product owner, you must have a combination of basic skills, management skills, and high-performing experience.


product owner




As the name suggests, they need to own the product, ensuring that it meets the user's requirements, as well as think from the team’s point of view in developing it, considering the technical aspects. In agile organizations, they are there for value maximization, optimization, product vision, and backlog management. The product owner in Agile has a lot of tasks to perform, which we have already seen in our previous articles, but here is a brief explanation of their important roles below.

  • They define product objectives and goals.

  • They also explain this goal to stakeholders and teams.

  • They explain and ensure that the teams are clear on the product backlog without any ambiguity.

  • They prioritize the product backlog.

  • Maintain communication throughout the project with team members, scrum masters, and stakeholders for every update.

  • They manage the project resources.

They manage the stakeholder relationship, including the onboarding of stakeholders, goal discussions, inviting them to events like sprint reviews, and making all the discussed information easy for everyone to understand.


Because the role is so varied in terms of responsibilities, it is necessary to have a wide range of skills in a variety of areas. Let's look at what basic skills product owners need to be successful.


Communication

Communication is the very foundation of human progress. Be it a team member, agile coach, or product owner, everyone requires communication skills. But as a product owner, not only will understanding and collaborating well with team members and stakeholders do the job as a communicator, but they also must know every channel of effective communication, whether email, video, or oral. They must know how to express themselves and their ideas effectively. They must also know when to be authoritative and when to be casual. They must be proficient with senders in order to decode the messages.


Decision Making

This is another key skill a product owner must have. As a senior member of a team, they are expected to make many decisions. They should be quick thinkers who can make decisions with possible solutions to any problem or task quickly. With building experience, product owners will gain the ability to identify upcoming issues, improving their decision-making skills further.



Analytical

As they are the owner of the product and have responsibility for a project, the product owner must have analytical skills. They must be fully skilled in collecting, analyzing, and evaluating data and provide a proper solution considering the time factor for improving productivity. Having good analytical skills requires the support of other skills like good critical thinking, creativity, logical reasoning, research, and data analysis. With good analytical skills, an owner will be first—and most importantly—able to solve backlog prioritization tasks.


Management

The complete project is the responsibility of the product owner, so they are the ones who need to manage it, so the next skill they require is management. Agile project management has five processes: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. With good project management, you can make a project successful and help the product owner achieve their project goals with ease.


Technical

Being a product owner requires continuous communication with developers and an understanding of the technical issues, so it is a plus if the product owner has technical skills. This will help their team members and also the product owner to easily understand and solve the issues that occurred, along with prioritizing backlog items and improving product management. The technical skills of coding, UX design, agile product development methodologies, and the ability to use applications and tools will do the job.


Collaborative

Managing the product development cycle and assure the timely delivery of quality products, it requires the skill of collaboration among product owners. This requirement can only be met with good collaboration between the developer, the supplier, and the end user.


Being hard and soft at once

The product owner can be considered as the sole and entire manager of the product, so they must make their team members know them and collaborate with them, but being friendly sometimes has a negative effect as people neglect you and do not take you seriously. So a product owner must be skilled at understanding the situation and acting accordingly. They must be able to complete tasks by being both hard and soft when necessary.

With these skills, anyone can be a good product owner. But these are not the limitations of skill; knowing them will always provide you with an upper hand in agility.



About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting, and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.


Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. We provide various SAFe certification courses along with DevOps, Scrum, Agile Coaching and more trainings. Write to us at contact@advanceagilty.com for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.

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