No, you do not need project management experience to become a product owner.

A product owner is like the CEO of the product.

They work with elements such as product scope, cost management, risk management, etc. which will be familiar to project managers, but their thinking is very different to a project manager.

A project manager will decide which work needs doing, assign tasks to others, assign a deadline for that work, and actively drive the process.

A product owner is part of a self-organising team that relies on the developers to make decisions about how best to solve a problem and estimate how long it will take to solve that problem.

If you are a project manager or do have project management experience, those skills are transferable. You will find that your previous experience helps a great deal in your new role as a product owner, but those skills are not essential to become a product owner.

A project manager would be comfortable with many elements of product ownership but so would someone who has little to no experience with project management.

A product owner is dedicated to making the best decisions for the product and working with a team to ensure that the right product is built, in the right way, and at the right time.

A project manager is focused almost exclusively on managing the project and ensuring that each element of the waterfall-style project aligns and synchronises with all the other elements.

Project managers actively manage a project. Product owners focus on solving complex problems and building great products that delight customers.

If you are interested in becoming a product owner, visit our Certified Scrum Product Owner course page for more information.

Frequently Asked Product Ownership Questions

 

Frequently Asked Product Owner Training Questions

 

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