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Six Types of “Product” Owners

Published by Roman Pichler| 5th May 2020

Nearly 20 years after the publication of the first Scrum book, the product owner role is still riddled with misunderstandings. It’s not uncommon for me to meet someone who refers to her- or himself as a product owner, only to discover that the person owns a feature or the product details but not the entire product. Other times, I meet people who say they are product owners but who manage a whole product portfolio. This article helps you reflect on and improve the way the product owner role is applied at your workplace. It describes six common types of “product” owners. It shows how the roles differ and relate to each other, and it explains how you can effectively apply them.

This podcast episode is based on Roman’s article “Six Types of ‘Product’ Owners“.

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  • David Hughes says:

    There are service owners, as well. Unfortunately, these folks are assigned the label “product owner” because the Scrum Method requires it and the enterprise endorses only the Scrum Method. Fortunately, the Kanban Method explicitly empowers both service and product owners. Roman Pichler: perhaps you could consider this in your model?

    • Roman Pichler says:

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. If it’s helpful, then do use service owner as a separate role. Personally, I treat services and products similarly, the main difference being that a service has to be instantiated, usually by a human. Hope this helps!

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