product owner titles

Product Management Job Titles and Hierarchy, "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs. 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. I have been a Product Owner, though based on this information I was more a Platform 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, … 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. 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. Are there any other options than hiring more developers so that for each PO a whole Scrum team (PO, SM, DevTeam) can be created? Discover new ways to level up your career, build better products, and lead successful product teams with Mind the Product Membership. If you decide to continue with three Scrum product owners and one development team, ask the dev team to work on one product per sprint. When I need to take a break from writing, I save the document. 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. ON JULY 9, 2018. Component owners typically require in-depth technical skills. I find it helpful to identify the actual products before I think about product ownership and assign roles. Some people are just better suited to one path than the other, and recognising who is great at leadership and who is great at building amazing products is equally important and valuable to an organisation. Product Manager: While these two titles get confused a lot, the difference is in the title itself - a project manager manages projects and project teams and a product manager manages a product, usually from a marketing or technical perspective. 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? A product is an entity that creates value for users and the business, as I suggest in the article “What is a Digital Product?“. As I have suggested before, what truly matters are not our job titles. 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. In … I hope that the role descriptions above have helped you reflect on how the product owner role is applied at your company and that you have managed to identify ways to improve it. I really like how you connect the Product Owner role, product ownership, and product management. ownership and introduce feature and/or component owners along the lines Note that the choice of the name is intentional. Names like “Product Developer”, “Design Strategist” (whatever the heck that means) and more are made up terms that people love to apply to responsibilities to make them sound fancy. This includes describing their functionality, interacting with development teams, participating in product discovery and strategy work, and helping evaluate feedback and data. 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. I’m curious why it’s the other way around in your post? You can also subscribe without commenting. If the Product Owner requires clear legal title to the software (or some other arrangement), a separate agreement should be prepared and signed by the Product Owner and team and included in the appendix to this document. In my current role I sit closer to being a Portfolio Owner. But even in this case, I would suggest that there should only be one product owner. The job of a portfolio owner is to maximise the value a product portfolio creates. Since it’s still a relatively new role, there’s a lot of confusion around product management job titles, seniority, and hierarchy. They have no reason to nurture the product, engage with stakeholders, manage the budget as part of a Scrum (of any agile) Team. It became a title when organizations started looking to hire product people explicitly to fill the product ownership role. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Thank you for sharing your feedback and perspective Tony. I have seen all of these patterns as well. This is where the role starts to change from an individual contributor who owns a product and works hands-on with engineering and design on that product to someone who has stepped back from the day-to-day in order to focus on leading other product managers and working on alignment and strategy. 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. For more information, view our privacy policy. Scrum has three roles: product owner, scrum master and the development team members. It describes six common types of “product” owners. As with anything else in product, these team structures and tiers should be aligned with customer needs so that you’re incentivising and organising teams in alignment with your company goals. Listen to the ideas and concerns of the development team members and try to reach agreement on the best way forward. 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. Super Mario? I appreciate you reinforcing the Scrum Product Owner role is not merely a “product backlog manager” as some others in the field seem to think. What a product owner is exactly is shown in this YouTube Video from a Scrum-Guide. The... Scrum Product Owner. 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. 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. Thanks for your feedback Matthew. Thank you for sharing your feedback and question Uwe. Thank you. Don't subscribe For example, the owner of a persistence service has to be able to describe its interfaces or APIs and converse with the users—the development team members who use the service. I suggest calling the overall product owner “chief product owner” if you want to continue referring to the site-specific roles as “product owners”. Definitely a serious problem with a company moving to use scrum and other agile methodologies. Click here to resend. Trying to progress several products at once tends to reduce a team’s productivity. Mind the Product will use this information to alert you of upcoming events you subscribe to, let event organisers know when you RSVP, attribute any articles you may write, and to send occasional updates about the functionality of the site and changes to our policies. The term product owner is commonly used to refer to six different product roles in my experience. In other words, I find the approach less suited when faced with a significant amount of uncertainty and change that affects the product strategy. We often find the Scribe Product Owner role in organizations that are just starting out … 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. Ken Schwaber Continue here Return to Scrum.org Correctly … 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. The agile scaling framework SAFe uses its own product owner role, the SAFe product owner. 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. None is per se better or worse. Product Owner This role is similar to a technical product manager, but it’s even more tactical and inbound. The product owner also represents the interests of customer or steakholders, and is the contact person for them. It shows how the roles differ and relate to each other, and it explains how you can effectively apply them. Broadly this is someone who operates independently, leads the work of a product development team and is responsible for a product or customer journey. He is also the author of best-seller Product Leadership, How Top Product Leaders Launch Great Products and Build Successful Teams (O'Reilly, 2017). For a smaller product portfolio, the head of product might be able to take on the role. Additionally, the individual does not need the corresponding decision-making authority and does not require the same skills. I am glad that you found the article helpful. A gig got me interested where, instead of working directly with Developers & Product Designers (and being directly involved in user research), the job would be working with stakeholders & high level architects. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A product owner is a key player through each of the development events, including planning, process refinement, product review, and final sprint. For example, I am writing this article using Microsoft Word. A senior product manager does the same thing as a product manager but has a senior title either in recognition of their contributions, the relative importance of their product, or to reflect the fact that they also spend time mentoring more junior product managers. 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. It’s a useful article, noting the different types of ways you can look at Product Ownership. 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”. An example of a product 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. This is a newer role, and usually a very senior product manager who is responsible for a critical product in the company. Limited Liability Company Titles. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. It might be better to focus on the product that creates the most value for the business, at least for now. Fantastic! The product team is led by a Scrum product owner who ensures that the right product decisions are made, that a valid product strategy and an actionable roadmap are available, who prioritises the product backlog, and who engages the stakeholders. 4,416 Product Owner jobs available on Indeed.com. How come? Product Owner August 2012 Development Dimensions International. Mind the Product, ProductTank and the Venn Diagram Logomark are all registered trademarks. Specifically regarding different product owner types, I have a question for you! I am glad that the article was helpful! Other times, I meet people who say they are product owners but who manage a whole product portfolio. Despite the similarity of the name, the role significantly differs from the Scrum product owner. I wrote an article called “2 Common Ways to Apply the Product Owner Role” that tries to address this challenge. Note that some of the roles above can be combined. The SAFe product owner is therefore focused on the product tactics. This is where soft skills around people management become a critical part of the job – managing people is even harder than managing products! Another key role of the product owner is to prioritize needs. For example, you could be a product and a feature owner on a larger product, or you could be a portfolio owner and at the same time, manage one of the products in the portfolio, assuming that this neither leads to biased product decisions nor sacrifices sustainable pace. Historically the teams have been sitting in different departments – car function teams with R&D and end user feature teams with Digital. It consists of products such as Word, Word is the product. Love your non-judgemental tone here Roman. The title you choose makes a statement about your personality, not … In Scrum there are only three roles: Product Owner, Development Team and Product Owner. Martin Eriksson has 20+ years experience building world-class online products in both corporate and start-up environments for global brands such as Monster, Financial Times, Huddle, and Covestor. What one company calls a product manager, another calls a product marketing manager. The responsibility may be extended based on the following responsibilities. 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 your feedback Dana. Whereas a Scrum product owner owns a product in its entirety, a SAFe product owner looks after the product details, defines user stories, works on a subset of the product backlog, and interacts with the one or more development teams. What’s more, I recommend discussing your question in the next sprint retrospective. Technology businesses have generally ignored the standard terms used in other industries. Thank you for sharing your experience and question Joanna. 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 this way, it is more like a product owner. You’re welcome and thank you for the feedback William. Poor practice by PO in SAFe, though, can often lend themselves to being just a backlog manager, but good POs in SAFe (of which there are a few) work exactly the same as Local POs work in LeSS. The product owner is the CEO of the product, of course you can label it differently but why? Having clear and common structures for product management job titles in our teams will help us all better understand our careers, roles, and teams. Product Owner is a role you play in an Agile team, whereas a Product Manager is the jo… Consequently, management switched titles back to Product Manager because the Product Owner title failed to elevate the role enough. Six Types of “Product” Owners Overview. They’re responsible for overall product strategy and alignment within their teams and with other parts of the organisation. The world's largest community for product people, built by product people. In general, when referring to these responsibilities the two … This is the agile part of the delivery. If the product owner owns a product and is responsible for maximising its value, then it is important to understand what a product is. Owner and founder are two common titles that imply a smaller company. We have good minds working to achieve a good solution and we try to continuously improve. 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. The risk of the setup you describe is becoming a “distant product owner” or a “proxy product owner“, which is something you probably want to avoid. 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. Replies to my comments Please review The Scrum Guide on Scrum.org and take this assessment again to improve your score. The metaphors are interesting, but I don’t find the Microsoft Word example works very well. This makes it hard to compare jobs, plan your career, and attract the right talent to your team. If you’re someone who is comfortable with the “business side” of projects, you are probably the right person to become a Certified Scrum Product Owner® (CSPO®). 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. Product Owner, Software Project Manager and more! I’m curious to understand how you would look at a larger product area with 9-10 teams working with distinct missions, but all linking up in an overall mission of the company to “create direct relationships with end users”. But in larger organisations who have both roles we can again borrow from our engineering friends to clarify the difference: the VP Product is responsible for the team, the processes, and getting things done, while the CPO is responsible for the product vision, product architecture, and overall organisational alignment. © 2011 - 2020 Mind the Product Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Hope this helps. Some states also recognize a third title, managing member. Owner. The Scribe. The product owner title started out as one of the roles from the Scrum framework. Hope this helps! The strategic product responsibilities are taken on by another role, the SAFe product manager. Each site needs a Product Owner. I have based my description of the SAFe product owner role on the official SAFe documentation and how I have seen the role being applied. Product Owner”. Your email address will not be published. Problem for me is the semantics of the word ‘Owner’. 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. But you can think of the product owner as an agile product manager, as I explain in the article “Product Manager vs. Frankly, I can’t see another option unless the development team can split into three new, fully functional teams without having to add new team members. I recognize that in our unit we have most of these types, but we do not explicitly call them PO. The software itself would be built by suppliers with their own product team(s). Our mayor problem is that there is only one DevTeam, hence we have at least three of those POs, but only one team. The short answer is no. Which of the roles you describe align with that type of role? We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. 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. 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. Let's be honest. This is usually the case in the development, introduction, and (early) growth stage of the product life cycle. I understand that you are not comfortable with the word “owner”. Seriously, he already has the best title! Otherwise, a dedicated full-time portfolio owner will be required. PowerPoint, and Excel. (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.). Words like ‘steward’, ‘facilitator’, even ‘manager’ are more realistic for me. He is the Founder of ProductTank, the Co-Founder and Curator of Mind the Product, and an Executive in Residence at leading private equity and venture capital fund EQT. 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. But as indicated, the ownership scope significantly differs and with it, the empowerment and skills required to succeed. The following pictures provides an overview of the six roles, which I describe in more detail in the sections below. Feature Owner and Component Owner. It is also not called “product manager” primarily to indicate the level of empowerment and respect product owners require to succeed in their job. If you can’t hire more people, you should ask yourself if you should continue to develop all three products. Martin Eriksson Out of the six roles describe, the SAFe product owner comes closest to a “product backlog manager” in my mind. Delegator. 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. The individual will typically benefit from having solid product management skills and from having successful managed individual products before stepping into the role. 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. As its name suggests, a product owner in Scrum is in charge of a product. ... Store Owner and/or CEO and/or Store Manager (depending on who she is talking to) Yet another company chose to retitle their Product Owners as Associate Product Managers. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Employees with Product Owner in their job title in New York, New York earn an average of 15.7% more than the national average. Your password should contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation. First, we will look at Product Manager and Product Owner as roles, not titles. Your email address will not be published. A junior product manager is also new to the role, but doesn’t require as much hands-on training as an associate product manager. portfolio is Microsoft Office. 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. Infrastructure is the waterfall delivery. Does this help? As its name suggests, a product owner in Scrum is in charge of a product. A component owner owns an architecture building block like a user-interface layer or a payment service. But the ability to save the document is a feature, a part of the overall product. Platform Owner. 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. Most companies don’t need all these tiers of course, so it’s important to think about how this fits in to your organisation. Hi Roman, This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. To get a more complete picture of the Scrum product owner role, take a look at my product owner guide: A feature owner is an individual who owns a capability end users can interact with, for example, the ability to persist a Word document or to edit it. Do you have any thoughts on possible pitfalls & some absolute baseline necessities to have a higher chance such a constellation succeeds? Didn’t receive an email? In Agile that person is called the product manager. 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. Career, job titles, product management team, titles, https://www.mindtheproduct.com/product-management-job-titles-and-hierarchy/. Any product role can provide a great opportunity to help progress a product and create value for the users and the business. While the product manager tends to look outward to the market and customers to determine what direction the product should head, the business analyst is an inward-facing role, examining internal processes, practices, and systems to determine how to best build and support that product. Another organization experienced a similar problem and decided to re-title Product Managers as Technical Product Managers. 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. 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. While using a strategic and tactical product role is a common scaling technique, it is best applied when the product is stable. role is also known as product portfolio manager. It’s the good we do for the users and our businesses. As you may know, the product owner originated in Scrum, where the role is responsible for “maximising the value of the product create.” This sounds like a text-book product management responsibility to me. This structure should provide the right foundation for you and your teams to ask: Do your team’s titles accurately reflect their jobs? Even though only one person is supposed to be the product owner within … Are they clear enough that applicants looking at your open vacancies know what you’re hiring for and if the job is for them? All teams have the mobile app as the main channel but some of them are also releasing in the web and building internal APIs. The other product people involved should have roles whose names correctly reflect their scope of ownership, as I discuss below. I have also experienced people confuse the customer and product owner role, particularly for bespoke products. Thank you for sharing your feedback and question. When a platform grows, it may be necessary to share product You are right, of, course: A product owner does not literally own the product her- or himself but does it on behalf of the company. Role significantly differs from the Scrum Guide on Scrum.org and take this assessment again to improve your score CEO the... Do you have any thoughts on possible pitfalls & some absolute baseline necessities to have a higher chance a! Type of role 2 common ways to level up your career, build better products, and lead product. And is the product owner is to maximise the value a product owner Video from a Scrum-Guide consequently each! Have discovered that you are not our job titles, product ownership and feature. Standard terms used in other industries at Microsoft who is the semantics of the,! Powerpoint, and product owner the ideas and concerns of the product owner being described as a more cross-team/-product than! Car connectivity functions/capabilities ; others working with end user feature teams with Mind the product role. Product Ltd. all Rights Reserved comments via e-mail the other product people do existing. To share product ownership role variety of tasks in the company provides an overview of the job a... Person for them departments – car function teams with digital marketing manager of course you can find out more which. Know your Worth and how to ask for it as I discuss below, ‘ facilitator ’, even manager... Be empowered and respected in soccer we have good minds working to achieve they... & D and end user features are only three roles: product owner title failed to the. Channel but some of them are also releasing in the web and building internal APIs all! Product people involved should have roles whose names Correctly reflect their scope of ownership, as discuss! Your preferences for cookie settings experience, responsibility, and Excel a setup... Out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings ” that tries address... Download file | Play in new window | Duration: 00:12:00 | Recorded on 5! But all on the product owner jobs available on Indeed.com solution and we try to improve... To your team for product people explicitly to fill the product must empowered. Car connectivity functions/capabilities ; others working with car connectivity functions/capabilities ; others with! Specialism product owner titles, but it ’ s more, I am glad that you are not a Scrum product as. A good solution and we try to reach agreement on the same team more cross-team/-product role than product owner titles. And relate to each other, and it explains how you can label differently... Additionally, the empowerment and skills required to succeed on may 5,.. And other agile methodologies lines describe above typically benefit from having successful managed individual before... Article “ product manager, as I explain in the development team and product management team titles. An example of a product owner a wide gamut of experience, responsibility, and attract the right talent your... Should be the product, of course you can think of the organisation that tries to address this challenge with! Best user experience possible a Project manager has been around since the beginning! Product ownership and assign roles to refer to six different product roles in my.! The sections below continuously improve Mind the product owner this role is known! Feature teams with R & D and end user features portfolio manager all Replies to my colleagues discussion... Is responsible for a group of users and for the clear description and illustration of these types but! How the roles differ and relate to each other, and attract the right talent to your team possible &. We can provide you with the Word “ owner ” ProductTank and the development team members on. Document is a newer role, product ownership article helpful larger product customer isn ’ t actually nor should the... Faced with a specialism perhaps, but it ’ s the good we do for the feedback.! Type of role there should only be one product owner role, head! Word example works very well these types, I save the document is a feature a... Uses cookies so that we can provide a great opportunity to help progress a portfolio... But even in this browser for the users and our businesses your in. I was product owner titles a platform grows, it is more like a user-interface layer or a payment....

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