What are great traits of a product owner?

4 traits stand out for me as being super valuable for an effective product owner.

Available

This might seem strange but it’s incredibly important that a product owner is available to their team. A development team is an incredibly expensive delivery vehicle and if you aren’t regularly meeting with your team, they are waiting on you for answers which causes expensive delays.

A product owner role involves a great deal of conversations with multiple stakeholders, both internal as well as external, including customers.

Much of your success as a product owner depends on your availability to these stakeholders and how effectively you can communicate within these ecosystems.

Empowered

A product owner needs to be empowered to make decisions. They need to be empowered to act and actively guide the development team toward the best product and solution.

In some environments, product owners need to seek permission or escalate the opportunity higher up the chain.

This can cause a lot of frustration and delays. Ultimately, if you as a product owner are not empowered to make decisions and act decisively, the development team would be better served communicating with someone who is.

It won’t take them long to find out who that empowered person is and start to deal with them directly, eliminating frustration and costly delays.

So, make sure you are empowered to work with your team, stakeholders, and customers.

Creative

A product owner doesn’t need to tell the team how to do their job, but the team are very much interested in creative ideas.

They want to work with a product owner that thinks creatively about the challenges they face and strives to find ways to delight customers.

As the visionary and custodian of the product, the product owner is uniquely positioned to think creatively about all elements of the product and its touchpoints.

A creative approach to problem-solving can also translate into competitive advantage for the product within the marketplace.

If you are working with customers and co-creating ideas, potential opportunities and thinking of ways to make the product or service better, you’re going to be a firm favourite with the development team.

Passionate

It is incredibly important for a product owner to be passionate about solving compelling problems and creating innovative products that truly delight customers.

As the CEO of the product, the product owner acts as an ambassador for the product and the product development team in multiple environments.

Their enthusiasm and passion for the job creates positive energy that the development team feed off.

It inspires the team to seek creative solutions to compelling problems and to work on creating the most valuable products and services they are capable of.

Passion is contagious and having this trait will win greater feedback and co-creation from your customers as well as product stakeholders.

Be passionate about the product and the role it plays in the lives of your customers and stakeholders.

If you want to become a Scrum Product Owner, visit our Certified Scrum Product Owner and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner course pages.

Frequently Asked Product Ownership Questions

 

Frequently Asked Product Owner Training Questions

 

John McFadyen © 2021. All Rights Reserved. In partnership with Agile Centre