Product Owner: Understanding your role and responsibilities in the Agile framework

The Scrum Framework is made up of three roles: the Product Owner (PO), the Scrum Master and the Developers (the development team). Together, they form theScrum team. In this blog post, we’ll cover the responsibilities, skills and tasks typical of the Product Owner role in Scrum. 

Don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments, our Agile experts will be delighted to help and guide you in your learning of Agile, Scrum and SAFe.

The Product Owner role

The main responsibility of the Product Owner role is to“maximize the value of the product“. The PO is a person (not a committee, a team) responsible in the Scrum framework for  maximizing the value of deliverables. 

The way the PO maximizes value is by continually making choices about what to build and what not to build in the Product. To this end, the PO is responsible for the product vision (short or long term), the management of the Product Backlog and stakeholder relations.

Product Owner responsibilities

In the Scrum framework, the Product Owner has the following responsibilities:

Product Backlog Management

  • Clearly express the elements of the Product Backlog (User Stories, Epics, etc.).
  • Prioritize product backlog items to best meet objectives.
  • Optimize the value of the development team’s work, ensuring that the backlog is clear and well-ordered.
  • Ensure that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent and clear to everyone, and show what the Scrum team will be working on next.
  • Ensure that the development team understands the elements of the Product Backlog.
  • Ensure that backlog items bring value to customers, that they have a description, a priority and an estimate (the estimate is carried out with the development team).

Maximizing product value

  • Management of the Product Backlog in consultation with stakeholders.
  • Optimizing return on investment.
  • TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) monitoring: this involves monitoring all investments (design, development, operation and maintenance) to be made in the product.
  • Estimate the Business Value of a new feature.
  • Defining, maintaining and sharing the product vision.
  • Creation of the sprint objective during Sprint Planning (Scrum) and/or PI Planning (SAFe).

Stakeholder management

  • Invite (key) stakeholders to the Sprint Review.
  • Explain which Product Backlog items were completed and which were not “Done” during the Sprint Review.
  • Discuss the current status of the Product Backlog, upcoming targets and objectives, likely delivery dates and progress made during the Sprint Review.
  • Keep track of all work remaining to be done for the next Sprints.
  • Create forecasts and make this information transparent to stakeholders.

"Users or their representatives and developers have to work together on a daily basis, and that's throughout the project."

The role of the Product Owner in SAFe

The following infographic is taken from the official SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) website. It explains the roles of the PO and how he or she works with the PM (Product Manager) and theAgile Team.

product owner role dans safe po pm product manager agile a l echelle Product Owner: Understanding your role and responsibilities in the Agile framework

Credit: Product Owner in SAFe framework.

The Product Owner and Product Managers must form an effective working relationship. They must collectively understand their customers’ needs. The PM is the main contact with the customer (Stackholders and Business Owners, users…). Information flows from the customer to the PM, then from the PM to the PO, and finally from the PO to the respective teams. The Product Manager and Product Owner work closely together to translate customer needs into Program Backlog items (for the PM) and Team Backlog items (for the PO).

How do I become a Product Owner?

To become a Product Owner, follow these steps:
  1. Practical experience: To become a Product Owner, it’s important to have practical experience in product management, preferably in the software industry. You can also have a technical background and progress towards this position. But to do this, you’ll need to learn the basics of product lifecycle management.

  2. Learning agile principles: Agile principles are essential to the role of Product Owner. It’s important to understand agile principles such as close collaboration between teams, continuous delivery of quality products and adaptability to change. You can follow training courses and online courses on agile principles.

  3. Take a training course: You can take an online training course to master the basics of being a Product Owner. Online training courses are available to give you the basics to understand this profession and prepare for certification.

  4. Take the certification exam: Once you’ve completed an online training course on Udemy, you can take the certification exam (Scrum PSPO1 or SAFe PMPO1). The exam is designed to test your understanding of agile principles, your knowledge of the Product Owner role, and your ability to apply agile principles in practical situations.

  5. Putting your knowledge into practice: Once you’ve obtained your certification, you can put your knowledge into practice by working as a Product Owner. You can work with an agile team, manage software products, prioritize backlog items and ensure quality product delivery.

In short, to become a Product Owner, it’s important to have practical experience in product management, understand Agile principles, take a certification course, pass the certification exam and put your knowledge into practice by working as a Product Owner.

How much does a PO earn in France?

According to the latest figures on Glassdoor and Linkedin Salary, the average salary for a Product Owner in France is between €45k and €49k Gross. Obviously, this depends on the city and the company.

For example, the salary of a PO in Paris in a large group will be slightly higher than this average salary. 

This salary also depends on the Product Owner’s experience. The “minimum” salary for a Junior is €35,000, and the “maximum” salary for an experienced Product Owner working in a large group is €65,000. 

salaire PO product owner france paris lyon moyen median glassdoor Product Owner: Understanding your role and responsibilities in the Agile framework

Credit: Graphics from Glassdoor

salaire moyen median PO product owner france linkedin salary Product Owner: Understanding your role and responsibilities in the Agile framework

Credit: Graph of PO salaries in France from LinkedIn

Contents Appendix

Find out more about Scrum roles in our Blog articles. Finally, take the time to ask us all your questions about Agile on our Facebook group. Experts in Agile methodology will be delighted to guide you through your Agile transformation.

This post is also available in: French

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Ahmed BEN SALEM

Ahmed BEN SALEM

Strongly involved in Agile methodologies, I have held the roles of Scrum Master, Product Owner and Release Train Engineer for SAFe, Scrum and DevOps projects. My approach focuses on people and stakeholder collaboration, creating environments conducive to innovation and performance.

Since 2016, I have successfully led several Agile software development projects for companies of all sizes, including Odigo, Orange and PSA. My solid experience in Agile methodologies, in particular Scrum and SAFe, has enabled me to work with multicultural teams from countries such as the USA, India, Vietnam and Morocco.

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