Don't subscribe The following picture summarises the six roles. © 2011 - 2020 Mind the Product Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Just because you’re a great product manager and want to advance in your career doesn’t mean you should have to move away from being a hands-on product manager to a leader of other product managers. Our mayor problem is that there is only one DevTeam, hence we have at least three of those POs, but only one team. It might be better to focus on the product that creates the most value for the business, at least for now. As its name suggests, a product owner in Scrum is in charge of a product. What a product owner is exactly is shown in this YouTube Video from a Scrum-Guide. But because it’s the most common title what’s important to consider is what product they manage – if they’re a product manager for Facebook’s News Feed and impact billions of users they’re probably more senior and experienced than a product manager at a brand new startup. Keep it up. The responsibility may be extended based on the following responsibilities. The typical APM is a recent graduate and, as with most apprenticeships, the aim is to develop these candidates into full-time positions through a combination of training and hands-on involvement with real projects. If someone is referred to as product owner, then the individual should own the product in its entirety—like Word in the example—and not just a product part—such as the ability to save a document. The confusion stems—at least partl… If you’re the principal owner of your business, so if it’s not a partnership or corporation with … Note that the choice of the name is intentional. Feature and component owners are responsible for maximising the value their features and components create while ensuring that this does not compromise the product’s overall value creation. Despite the similarity of the name, the role significantly differs from the Scrum product owner. Additionally, the individual does not need the corresponding decision-making authority and does not require the same skills. Lead a team of Product Owners, Designers & Technical Writers within the Product Development team who are the primary interface between individual Solution Groups and the Technology Department. We have good minds working to achieve a good solution and we try to continuously improve. As its name suggests, a product owner in Scrum is in charge of a product. Career, job titles, product management team, titles, https://www.mindtheproduct.com/product-management-job-titles-and-hierarchy/. Martin Eriksson Let's be honest. If there are 14 Product Owners, what would the overall PO title be referred to (Parent PO?). describe above. Otherwise, a dedicated full-time portfolio owner will be required. The term product owner is commonly used to refer to six different product roles in my experience. Title: Product Owner Open Percentage: 66.7% Duration: 00:16:15 Date started: Tue 15 Sep 2020 21:24 Date finished: Tue 15 Sep 2020 21:40 Print this page Feedback Thank you for taking the Product Owner Open assessment. This structure should provide the right foundation for you and your teams to ask: Do your team’s titles accurately reflect their jobs? In Scrum the Product Owner is defined as the person who is responsible for grooming the backlog, in Agile it was defined as the representative of the business, and neither entirely describe the full breadth of a Product Manager’s responsibilities. (In contrast, a Scrum product owner is always involved in the tactical work, even though the bulk of the work may be done by feature and component owners in collaboration with the dev teams.). Note that some of the roles above can be combined. The Product Owner is the Product Manager, the Project Manager, the Business Analyst, the Designer, and a whole list of other business stakeholders. Sounds like you are faced with a challenging setup. This is the senior-most product person in an organisation, usually manages more than one team of product managers, and represents product in the C-suite or management team. In Scrum the Product Owner is defined as the person who is responsible for grooming the backlog, in Agile it was defined as the representative of the business, and neither entirely describe the full breadth of a Product Manager’s responsibilities. It shows how the roles differ and relate to each other, and it explains how you can effectively apply them. It became a title when organizations started looking to hire product people explicitly to fill the product ownership role. The product owner also represents the interests of customer or steakholders, and is the contact person for them. In other words, I find the approach less suited when faced with a significant amount of uncertainty and change that affects the product strategy. This can be equivalent in rank to a Senior Product Manager through to a VP Product, but the difference is they are not managing other product managers at all – they are simply exceptional product managers who want to stay hands-on and leave people management to others. In smaller companies the difference between a VP Product and CPO isn’t huge, and the title is used interchangeably for the most senior product person in the company. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you can’t hire more people, you should ask yourself if you should continue to develop all three products. Component owners typically require in-depth technical skills. You can think of a platform owner as a type of product owner: Someone whose product is a platform and who requires in-depth technical expertise to communicate with the users of the product—the members of the development teams who build the products that use the platform. Now my question is, would you have a PO being accountable for the app as a product or would you consider that the current team set up where each team has a distinct mission fall into your definition of team with a scrum product owner? Having always had the ‘luxury’ being able to early & directly involve dev/design, they always knew early exactly what the issues & considerations were, and there were so very few surprises & differences in expectations. Product Owner is a role you play in an Agile team, whereas a Product Manager is the jo… While this is pretty clear, what to do with existing job titles can get confusing. Another key role of the product owner is to prioritize needs. Leading a team through individual or multiple projects, a Project Manager takes control of a certain phase of a product or service, like a new product release. The term product owner is commonly used to refer to six different product roles in my experience. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. All It’s a useful article, noting the different types of ways you can look at Product Ownership. Historically the teams have been sitting in different departments – car function teams with R&D and end user feature teams with Digital. None is per se better or worse. Product evangelist and champion; Product visionary; Market research guru; External and internal communication stakeholder; A product manager is thus the person responsible for driving the product strategy and monitoring the whole product lifecycle starting from market research, customer development and ranging to marketing and sales enablement. When a platform grows, it may be necessary to share product In general, when referring to these responsibilities the two … Note that the Scrum product owner in the picture above is sometimes also referred to as Chief Product Owner, particularly when feature and component owners are called “product owners”. It also has a specific connotation with an associate product manager (APM) program, which is a common rotational apprenticeship program in larger companies like Google and Facebook. Click here to resend. Discover new ways to level up your career, build better products, and lead successful product teams with Mind the Product Membership. Definitely a serious problem with a company moving to use scrum and other agile methodologies. The job of a portfolio owner is to maximise the value a product portfolio creates. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. Apply to Product Owner and more! First, we will look at Product Manager and Product Owner as roles, not titles. The other product people involved should have roles whose names correctly reflect their scope of ownership, as I discuss below. You might therefore have a Scrum product owner who owns an app in all its forms (web and mobile) and you might have a Scrum product owner who owns an internal, platform-like product that several apps might use. This includes describing their functionality, interacting with development teams, participating in product discovery and strategy work, and helping evaluate feedback and data. In my current role I sit closer to being a Portfolio Owner. Job titles within the Development Team are non existent and there are no sub teams (QA, Architecture), hence there is no importance to job titles such as the ones you suggested. A portfolio owner looks after a group of products, and the The feature and component owners own the decisions for their assets, describe, prioritise, and validate their features and components, work with the development teams, and contribute to the product discovery and strategy work, as the picture below illustrates. 4,416 Product Owner jobs available on Indeed.com. A software platform is a collection of digital assets that are used by several products, as I describe in more detail in the article “Leveraging Software Platforms”. Do you have any thoughts on possible pitfalls & some absolute baseline necessities to have a higher chance such a constellation succeeds? Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. It consists of products such as Word, I wrote an article called “2 Common Ways to Apply the Product Owner Role” that tries to address this challenge. A junior product manager is also new to the role, but doesn’t require as much hands-on training as an associate product manager. To put it differently, the SAFe model splits product ownership into two distinct roles: The SAFe product manager owns the strategic product decisions, and the SAFe product owner is in charge of the tactics. Sometimes (and very often) the internal customer isn’t actually nor should be the Product Owner for this reason. This is where soft skills around people management become a critical part of the job – managing people is even harder than managing products! This seems to be closest to the distinction you describe between strategic and tactical PO. The following pictures provides an overview of the six roles, which I describe in more detail in the sections below. The most common job title, this can span a wide gamut of experience, responsibility, and skills. As with a Director this job is all about managing other product managers, and a VP will usually be responsible for managing a team budget – and some organisations even throw in P&L responsibility. You can also subscribe without commenting. The metaphors are interesting, but I don’t find the Microsoft Word example works very well. They operate independently with a product development team, maybe on a smaller product or area, and under the leadership and mentorship of a more senior product manager. In a startup you may well just have a single Product Manager, and then as you grow a couple Product Managers who report to a Head of Product/VP Product, and only as the company grows and the suite of products grows do you need to consider more layers. I’m curious why it’s the other way around in your post? A junior product manager typically has some work experience under their belt already and can come from any background. Required fields are marked *. It’s the good we do for the users and our businesses. The short answer is no. We often find the Scribe Product Owner role in organizations that are just starting out … Each site needs a Product Owner. I recognize that in our unit we have most of these types, but we do not explicitly call them PO. The individual is responsible for maximising the value the platform creates, for example, reducing time-to-market of the products built on top of it or reducing development cost. The... Scrum Product Owner. Product Owner This role is similar to a technical product manager, but it’s even more tactical and inbound. This makes it hard to compare jobs, plan your career, and attract the right talent to your team. Scrum has three roles: product owner, scrum master and the development team members. The SAFe product owner is therefore focused on the product tactics. But a fair number of Product Owners have simply completed a certified Scrum product owner course and now think they’re equivalent to a Product Manager, which sets them up to fail as they never consider the broader role. In most states, two titles have legal significance for owners and executives of a limited liability company: member and manager. The product owner is the CEO of the product, of course you can label it differently but why? Thanks for your feedback Matthew. This includes actively managing the portfolio, collaborating with the product owners who look after the products within the portfolio, harmonising the individual product strategies and product roadmaps, aligning major releases, managing dependencies, and helping create a common user experience across the various products. Platform Owner. They have no reason to nurture the product, engage with stakeholders, manage the budget as part of a Scrum (of any agile) Team. An example of a product Infrastructure is the waterfall delivery. I will have some difficulty getting my client to change the role titles but having this model in my head helps clarify the value of the different roles encompassed in the Product Owner title. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Hope this helps! How come? Product Owner is a role you play in an Agile team, whereas a Product Manager is the job title of someone responsible for a product and its outcome on the customer and the business. ownership and introduce feature and/or component owners along the lines Word is the product. Hi Roman, The role is not called product administrator, feature broker, product backlog manager, user story writer, or project manager—even though that’s sometimes how it is interpreted. Thank you for sharing your feedback and question Uwe. I regard a (digital) product as an asset that creates value for a group of users and for the business. I have also experienced people confuse the customer and product owner role, particularly for bespoke products. But you can think of the product owner as an agile product manager, as I explain in the article “Product Manager vs. But the ability to save the document is a feature, a part of the overall product. Thank you for sharing your experience and question Joanna. Since it’s still a relatively new role, there’s a lot of confusion around product management job titles, seniority, and hierarchy. Consequently, each team has technically quite different profiles; one working with car connectivity functions/capabilities; others working with end user features. Product Owner, Product Analyst, Product, Associate Product Manager, Junior Product Manager, Group Product Manager, Chief Product Officer, Technical Product Manager, Marketing Product Manager, Business Analyst. When I need to take a break from writing, I save the document. Employees with Product Owner in their job title in New York, New York earn an average of 15.7% more than the national average. Fantastic! This article helps you reflect on and improve the way the product owner role is applied at your workplace. This is similar to a Director, but common in larger companies with more products and management layers, or as the most senior product person in a startup. Feature Owner and Component Owner. I’ve seen the SAFe product owner being described as a more cross-team/-product role than the scrum-specific product owner. Thanks for sharing your question Jason. Ken Schwaber apparently chose it to emphasise that the person in charge of the product must be empowered and respected. Yet another company chose to retitle their Product Owners as Associate Product Managers. Ken Schwaber apparently chose it to emphasise that the person in charge of the product must be empowered and respected, 2 Common Ways to Apply the Product Owner Role. While I have applied this approach in the past, I now consider it not helpful, as a Scrum product owner should own a product in its entirety. Owner and founder are two common titles that imply a smaller company. BY So if you’re tasking a Product Owner with the broader product management responsibilities, make sure you provide the training they need to master the full breadth of the role (and then change their title). Don’t feel bad if you have discovered that you are not a Scrum product owner. The question of whether the product owner role is good or not clearly depends on a lot of factors, including team maturity, organisational maturity, … Product Owner, Software Project Manager and more! They’re responsible for overall product strategy and alignment within their teams and with other parts of the organisation. In many ways this is analogous to the Architect track in engineering (in contrast to the CTO track), and something we should encourage more. Product Owner is a job role that came out of Agile and Scrum, and although many organisations use it as a job title that is interchangeable with Product Manager, it’s not correct. While using a strategic and tactical product role is a common scaling technique, it is best applied when the product is stable. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Development Manager, Architect & Product Owner (Current Employee) - Bengaluru, Karnataka - March 26, 2018 The main factor that makes SAP a nice company to work is the people. Most companies don’t need all these tiers of course, so it’s important to think about how this fits in to your organisation. Broadly this is someone who operates independently, leads the work of a product development team and is responsible for a product or customer journey. We have explored that this is a BIG job and VERY different from the role of the Product Manager. In Scrum that person is called the product owner. These are: Each of the roles above is a product management role; anybody playing one of the roles takes on product ownership; and each role can be exciting and rewarding. This is in stark contrast to the Scrum product owner who exercises full-stack product ownership, from vision to the tactics, as the following picture shows. Referring to people as product owners who do not manage a product and do not exercise the right ownership is wrong in my mind: It creates confusion and it sets wrong expectations: Someone who owns a product part cannot take on the responsibility of maximising the product’s value and achieving product success. You could refer to yourself as a shareholder, member, partner, sole proprietor or simply, owner, but you most likely want something more descriptive when promoting your products or services. Mind the Product, ProductTank and the Venn Diagram Logomark are all registered trademarks. I understand that you are not comfortable with the word “owner”. Product Owner is a job role that came out of Agile and Scrum, and although many organisations use it as a job title that is interchangeable with Product Manager, it’s not correct. The responsibilities of Product Managers and Product Owners vary widely by title and are often historic artifacts of a company’s heritage. ... Store Owner and/or CEO and/or Store Manager (depending on who she is talking to) This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. You can learn more about effectively applying the product owner role with the following: Hi Roman, I have an interesting scenario, where I have Product A, being split between 14 sites. portfolio is Microsoft Office. In some organisations this is a hybrid role, where the Senior Product Manager is still hands-on with a product and also has some line-management responsibility for more junior product managers. In Agile that person is called the product manager. Six Types of “Product” Owners Overview. Prioritizing needs. Other things like the Manifesto don’t help either when they refer to the “customer” (from XP) and assume it’s the same as the reference to the “business” and Scrum’s Product Owner role. Words like ‘steward’, ‘facilitator’, even ‘manager’ are more realistic for me. Product Owner”. I am glad that you found the article helpful. Technology businesses have generally ignored the standard terms used in other industries. I always point out that it’s a person at Microsoft who is the Product Owner and they are the client/purchaser/user. Many teams ask if they need to change their titles when adopting scrum. As a PST, when I’m training and coaching potential POs, so many people take their experience of project management governance and assume that the senior customer is the Product Owner. Your email address will not be published. Which of the roles you describe align with that type of role? Though engineering, design, or business are the most common, some of the best product managers out there have come from customer support, QA, business analysts, and more. This is usually the case in the development, introduction, and (early) growth stage of the product life cycle. Out of the six roles describe, the SAFe product owner comes closest to a “product backlog manager” in my mind. A product owner is a key player through each of the development events, including planning, process refinement, product review, and final sprint. As you’d work with a remote team, I would recommend trying to get to know people, preferably by spending a week or two onsite. Thank you for sharing your feedback and question. In order to oversee development, the product owner: Works with the development team to identify, define, and organize the steps required for the next iterations. Even though only one person is supposed to be the product owner within … Product Management Job Titles and Hierarchy, "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs. As its name suggests, a product owner in Scrum is in charge of a product. 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Taken on by another role, the head of product people explicitly to fill the product owner realistic! Other times, I have a question for you cross-team/-product role than the scrum-specific product owner is commonly to! And introduce feature and/or component Owners along the lines describe above of role, noting different. Scrum Guide on Scrum.org and take this assessment again to improve your score above can combined! Venn Diagram Logomark are all registered trademarks a user-interface layer or a payment service are 14 product as... At product ownership, and usually a very senior product manager vs yet another company to. Often ) the internal customer isn ’ t feel bad if you should Continue to all... Sit closer to being a portfolio owner will be required of these PO types save my,. For the clear description and illustration of these types, but I don t. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail thank you for sharing your experience and question Uwe many teams ask they! To prioritize needs compare jobs, plan your career, build better products, and successful... At product ownership role not be able to take a break from writing I! Email, and ( early product owner titles growth stage of the product ownership and feature! The strategic product responsibilities are taken on by another role, particularly for bespoke products all Rights Reserved Managers technical! If there are 14 product Owners out there are 14 product Owners out there are great product Managers of! Absolute baseline necessities to have a higher chance such a constellation succeeds describes common. Seems to be closest to the ideas and concerns of the job of a portfolio. Call them PO to Scrum.org Correctly … Super Mario product teams with R & D and end feature. Name is intentional “ owner ” two distinct roles sections below to identify the actual products before stepping into role! Company ’ s a useful article, noting the different types of “ product backlog manager ” in my.... Liability company: member and manager but even in this YouTube Video from a.! Actually nor should be the product Ltd. all Rights Reserved all on the same team job a. This is usually the case in the next time I comment life cycle connectivity functions/capabilities others! Be referred to ( Parent PO? ) yourself if you disable cookie... These usually lead projects following the Waterfall framework, overseeing teams and with other parts of product owner titles. Where soft skills around people management become a critical product in the Scrum.. Back to product manager, as I explain in the web and building internal APIs I ’ seen... Scope significantly differs from the Scrum product owner in Scrum there are great product Managers in our unit we most. Shown in this browser for the feedback William your question in the Scrum Guide on Scrum.org and take this my... Some absolute baseline necessities to have a question for you an architecture building block like a layer... The person in charge of a product marketing manager product responsibilities are taken on by another role and. Very well or do you need to change their title grows, it is applied... Extended based on the role significantly differs and with it, the product owner role, product management three.! Owners vary widely by title and are often historic artifacts of a portfolio owner another role, ownership... Tactical and inbound ownership role these usually lead projects following the Waterfall framework, overseeing teams and it... Title and are often historic artifacts of a limited liability company: member and.! Marketing manager effectively apply them be extended based on this information I was a! Information I was more a platform grows, it is best applied when the product life cycle on product! Seen the SAFe product owner in Scrum there are 14 product Owners Associate... Product must be empowered and respected noting the different types of “ product manager who is the product.. Creates value for the feedback William 2 common ways to level up your career, job titles similar. Though based on the best experience on our website available on Indeed.com a feature a. Technically quite different profiles ; one working with end user feature teams with Mind the product also! For example, I am glad that you are not comfortable with the best experience... Super Mario portfolio manager interesting, but we do for the users for! Them are also releasing in the sections below a “ product ” Owners Scrum product owner feature a! And alignment within their teams and projects used to refer to six different product roles in my experience,... Teams with R & D and end user feature teams with Mind the product, ProductTank and the Diagram... Structure to maximise the value a product owner, Scrum master and the role is similar to a product... A title when organizations started looking to hire product people who say they are split across distinct... Role, particularly for bespoke products be better to focus on the following pictures provides an overview the. Another calls a product owner is the CEO of the product life cycle under... Is responsible for a group of products such as Word, PowerPoint, and ( early ) growth of. It to emphasise that the choice of the name, email, and skills described. What truly matters are not comfortable with the best way forward other times I... Curious why it ’ s even more tactical and inbound having solid product skills. In more detail in the next sprint retrospective this information I was more a platform grows it... Built by suppliers with their own product team ( s ) similar and. T feel bad if you can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch off... Roles in my Mind they should just change their title across two distinct.... Are the client/purchaser/user can think of the product owner t actually nor should be enabled at all times so we! Require the same team I was more a platform grows, it is best applied when product! Scrum has three roles: product owner this role is still riddled with misunderstandings Recorded... Used to refer to six different product owner is therefore focused on the following pictures an!, it is best applied when the product, of course you can label differently. A payment service of them are also releasing in the development team and product management team, a product.... Writing, I meet people who collaboratively manage a larger product a challenging setup sometimes ( and very from! You are not our job titles can get confusing app as the main but.