Types of Product Owner in An Organization. Which one are you?

The roles of a Product Owner are vast and are implemented in different ways. Each organization, department, and teams have their Product Owners and their responsibility varies accordingly. The role of a Product Owner is not that easy; it needs a certain mindset and competence. A Product Owner needs to be responsible, fully available for their team, should be well versed with the market and customers, and have great communication skills.

The general duties of a Product Owner are checking the backlog of a product and managing them and also making the Developers understand them. Analyzing and supervising the development stage and many more. If you want to be a Product Owner you need to understand which type of Product Owner profile fits you the most. There are five types of Product Owners.

  • The Scribe
  • The Proxy
  • The Business Representative
  • The Sponsor
  • The Entrepreneur

Now, let us discuss these types in detail to give you a better understanding and help you find which one of them is you.

  1. The Scribe: You can spot a scribe Product Owner in an organization that is just starting with Scrum and have not completely implemented the Agile mindset. The main function of such a Product Owner is to manage the backlog. Their works also include translating the wishes of the stakeholders and writing them down into language that is understandable and the Developers can interpret it easily. Other than this translation of wishes the scribe Product Owner doesn’t have much authority or responsibility. Usually, requirement engineers or business analysts are considered perfect for this role. You can become a great person for the role if you get CSPO Training, so do try that out.
  2. The Proxy: Proxy Product Owners have little more responsibility than the Scribe Product Owner. Although, the Proxy Product Owners are also seen in the early stage of a Scrum framework. The most critical decisions like business goals, required outcomes, and scope are determined by the Stakeholders like Project Sponsors or Business Owners. But, the Proxy too gets to make certain decisions, although limited such as Product Backlog ordering but only after the approval of the primary stakeholders. The Proxy Product Owner position is generally given to the team leaders or the Product Managers since they have experience in producing required results within a limited period.
  3. The Business representative:  A business person having certain knowledge of the market, business concepts, and customers can be a perfect business representative Product Owner. If you want to become a business representative Product Owner you must be well aware of the needs of your customers. Although the name implied that this type of Product Owner should come from a business background but isn’t necessary. The business representative can also come from an IT background such as security experts or information managers. The responsibility of the business representative includes managing the Product Backlogs without any higher approval. But, when it comes to budget changes they need to consult the higher authority of stakeholders.
  4. The Sponsor: Unlike the business representatives, the sponsors are responsible for their budget to spend. Besides the budget, the other responsibilities of a sponsor are pretty much the same. Since the Sponsor has their budget they can resource the Developers but can’t change the team or make any changes to them during a Sprint. However, they can form more teams or can expand one if the outcome of the products developed by the Developers is highly successful.
  5. The Entrepreneur: The Product Owner that has the highest authority or the highest level of maturity can be known as the entrepreneur. The entrepreneurs should have excellent vision and knowledge of the market and customers. They also need to have great leadership and communication skills since they are mini-CEOs of the organization and have control over pretty much everything. The other responsibility of an entrepreneur includes operations, marketing, legality, sales, maintenance, etc. They are fully responsible for the profits and loss of the organization.

Now that you have an idea about the types of Product Owners you can easily find out which ones are you. However, It’s not easy to take the position of a Product Owner, therefore if you have some prior training it helps a lot. Taking the Certified Scrum Product Owner Certification Training from a registered institute of Scrum Alliance will be a great option if you want to be a Certified Scrum Product Owner with good skills and knowledge. Having a certification would also increase your hiring chances to a great extent in top reputed companies.

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