Everyday Video: What is a Product Owner?

Are you interested in becoming a Product Owner?

If you get excited about helping to create products that are helpful and impactful, then you should consider the role of Product Owner.

The Scrum Product Owner's primary responsibility is to maximize the team's value to the product. They accomplish this goal through 5 habits:

  1. Stakeholder Relationships and Synthesis
  2. Backlog Refinement
  3. Road Mapping
  4. Sprint Vision and Goals
  5. Inspection at the of the sprint

Reflection Questions

  • What are your goals as you learn about the role of Product Owner?
  • Are you looking to grow your skills in a current role or land a new role?
  • What is your plan for learning the basics of Scrum?

If you are interested in learning Scrum or teaching it to your team, you'll want to check out Everyday Scrum. It's a guide for everyday people to learn Scrum and is written intentionally to be accessible to those practicing Scrum outside the software development space.

You may also find these infographics helpful as a summaries of the Scrum Master and Product Owner roles.

Samantha the Scrum Master
Samantha the Scrum Master
Owen the Product Owner
Owen the Product Owner

If you want to explore more Scrum related content, I have lot's of Agile and Scrum posts for you and I've highlighted a few of them below.

Scrum Basics

Scrum Roles

Scrum Books

Related Videos

Related Posts


Maybe you're watching this video because you scrolled past the job description for a product owner and now you're curious, what is that? Or perhaps maybe you're joining a team that practices Scrum and you just want to know what's everyone's job, what do all these people do. Either way, today here on everyday design, we're going to cover. What does a product owner do in Scrum?

Roles like a product owner can seem kind of ambiguous when you first learn about them, but I had the privilege to train multiple people as POs when they began the role. And so I'm excited to help you today to kind of get an idea of what does this role involve? Well, it comes down to really the fact that successful businesses create value and a product owner plays a key role in that process.

In fact, I'd say that's their core responsibility, maximizing the value that the Scrum team delivers through the product. It's a big role. It's a big job when you think about that. But what I've seen is that there's five habits that POS successful peers possess. And so we're going to kind of walk through those one at a time, and I think that'll give you a good picture of the role.

All right, you ready? Let's go. The first one is stakeholder relationships and synthesis. So it's kind of two things in one that I squeeze in and I'm going to call it one habit. But stakeholder relationships and synthesis. The PO is really the inflection point between the scrum team and everybody else. So they work with stakeholders. The product owner identifies the why the product is going to be developed and they synthesize that input from different stakeholders, customers, all those different inputs.

They synthesize that into the they take all that. Why do we need the product and they synthesize it to the what the product becomes and this habit I put first because one it takes the most time takes a lot of the pause time, but also it has the largest impact and it kind of integrates with all the other parts.

But the second role, the second habit of a product owner is that of backlog refinement. They're continually refining the backlog, not just during the backlog refinement session, but all the time because the backlog it contains all the requested work prioritized in order and it's continually evolving. So during that backlog refinement session, the Scrum Team is evaluating certain items, they're asking questions, but they're trying to get a common understanding around, Hey, what is what is this, this request, this item represent?

And the product owner facilitates this meeting. They communicate the vision and the context for those items. They answer questions or they take questions and they go find out the answers that they don't know. They use user stories, they use acceptance criteria. Those are some important tools for this process of refining the backlog, which is again, an ongoing kind of never ending process.

The third habit is not a roadmap because products can take months, they can take years, usually more actually on the year side of things. But as the priority is set for features and functionalities, the product owner needs to figure out, well, how long is it going to take to release some of these? Is that going to match with some of the market dynamics or the market deadlines that we have?

And so they'll take into account stakeholder priorities, market dynamics, the scrum teams, just velocity of how fast they can deliver value. And the roadmap is just an estimation for completion. The roadmap is the current plan based on what the PO knows right now, but like all these other things, it gets updated as greater understanding emerges. The fourth habit is setting the Sprint vision and goal, and each sprint begins with sprint planning.

The product owner is responsible to keep the product vision in front of the team and describes the Sprint vision and goal during that time. That goal. The Sprint goal informs not just the work that gets selected for the sprint, but also how does the team really rally around that work and see the value that they're delivering in the end?

And that comes to the fifth habit, which is that of inspection. And one of our pillars of Scrum that at the end of the sprint the team delivers an increment which is just the next phase of the working product that's ready to be released to the customers. So the PO they inspect that work in regard to the original user story or acceptance criteria along with the team's definition of done, they have all kind of these different lenses that they're laying over as they look at what the team is delivering to accept it or not.

So that's our five habits of let's just kind of review those. Yeah, stakeholder relationships and synthesis, backlog refinement, road mapping, setting the Sprint vision and goals and then inspection at the end of the Sprint. If some of that work sounds interesting to you, maybe you should look into what it takes to become a product owner. It's a demanding but rewarding job.

I hope this video helps you get an idea of kind of what does a PO do? What does that look like in their everyday work? If you want a deeper dive into scrum, check out the links in the description, especially the one for Everyday Scrum, which is just a guide for everyday people who want to learn Scrum. If you have questions, drop those in the comments.

We'd love to engage there and don't forget to like and subscribe. Thanks.