HomeAgileAgile product Ownership in a nutshell

Agile product Ownership in a nutshell


Agile product ownership is the job of the Product Owner. The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value a product provides to its customers. The Product Owner works with the team to gather requirements and prioritize them according to customer value. The team then works on implementing those requirements based on their velocity and capacity while staying within budget constraints.

Product Ownership is a mindset.

Product Ownership is a mindset that is focused on the customer value and not on the product.

It’s important to understand that Product Ownership doesn’t depend on experience, qualifications or education. In fact, most of the times it has nothing to do with these things.

The best way to become a great Product Owner is by working with other Agile teams where you can learn from your mistakes and improve yourself daily.

Product Ownership is about customer value.

Product Ownership is a mindset. It’s not just about changing hats from time to time, nor is it simply about making sure that the team has what they need to build your product. Product Ownership is about customer value. Great Product Owners look at their products through the lens of their customers, and understand that what customers say they want may not be what they really want—and it certainly isn’t always what they will pay for. That’s why Product Owners must dig deeper in order to uncover true customer needs by asking questions like:

  • What does this feature do for my customer?
  • Why do I think my customer wants this feature?

It’s about what customers want, not what customers say they want.

Customer value is a long-term goal. People tend to focus on the short-term, and this is understandable because it’s easier to see results in the short term. However, you can’t measure customer value without looking at what happens over time. Customer value is about more than features; it’s about the whole experience for your customers (and your company). It includes how people interact with your product or service from beginning to end, not just when they’re using it themselves but also when they refer others or help other people use it—or even if they don’t ever use it themselves but hear good things from friends. Because of this wide range of inputs that contribute to customer value, we must measure them holistically instead of focusing on individual metrics such as active users or revenue generated per user per month

Scrum defines the goals of the next increment.

The product backlog is the list of things that need to be done in order to get your product to a finished state. It’s prioritized by the product owner and owned by them as well, so they can ensure it contains only work that needs to be done.

The Product Owner builds the backlog from epics to stories.

The Product Owner is responsible for building and maintaining a prioritized backlog of work that needs to be done. The backlog is comprised of epics: high-level descriptions of features, and stories: the smallest units of work that can be completed in a single sprint. The backlog should be prioritized based on customer value (not technical complexity).

The Product Owner prioritizes the backlog based on customer value.

In this section, you’ll learn about the Product Owner’s role in prioritizing the backlog based on customer value. A common misconception is that this means the end-user experience is prioritized over all other concerns. This is not true! The Product Owner prioritizes work based on what will create greater value for their customers and/or business. There are several ways to do this:

  • Prioritize based on customer value (i.e., what will add more value to your customers?)
  • Prioritize based on business value (i.e., what will add more profit or growth to your organization?)
  • Prioritize by business impact (i.e., which features will have a large number of users adopting them quickly?)

The team chooses what they can commit to delivering with each sprint.

  • The team chooses what they can commit to delivering with each sprint. This helps the product owner to avoid having to make too many commitments that cannot be delivered on. Making a commitment means that the team will work towards achieving it and accept responsibility for any failure or delay in delivery that results from its actions.
  • The team is responsible for the quality of their work, including what they commit to the product owner during sprint planning.

Avoid changing priorities during sprints.

The most important thing to remember as a product owner is that you should never change the priority of your backlog items during a sprint. This can cause major issues for the team and will prevent them from being able to deliver value to customers on time. If you find yourself in a situation where priorities change, such as when a critical bug is discovered or market research shows that an unmet need exists, then it’s okay to add new tasks or remove old ones from this sprint. These changes should be made before starting the next cycle so that they don’t disrupt progress either.

In summary:

  • Avoid changing priorities during sprints at all costs, unless it’s absolutely necessary
  • If something needs to be added or removed because of external factors (like bugs), do it before beginning each cycle

Let the team make decisions within their field of expertise.

The product owner is the person who owns the vision, roadmap and priorities of a project. They set what’s important to work on and how to prioritize tasks in order of importance as well as help guide teams through difficult decisions.

In an agile environment, this responsibility is shared between product owners, program managers, business analysts and technical leads.

The Product Owner is responsible for accepting or rejecting work that has been delivered by the team.

When you accept or reject work from the team, you are responsible for ensuring that the product is on track and still meets your vision. Accepting work means that it has been completed in accordance with the Acceptance Criteria defined by the Product Backlog items. Rejecting work means that it does not meet those criteria, or there is a problem with how it was done (for example, if someone has not followed instructions properly).

The Product Owner should always be able to explain why they have accepted or rejected a piece of work so that everyone knows exactly what their expectations are going forward.

Agile product ownership is an important role when implementing agile and scrum processes

Agile product ownership is an important role when implementing agile and scrum processes. Product owners are responsible for the product backlog and making sure it is prioritized correctly, as well as helping to define what can be delivered in each sprint. Product owners work with the team to understand what they can deliver in each sprint.


The Product Owner is the key to success in agile. They are the person who knows the customer and their needs, and they prioritize accordingly. They can change the focus of an iteration or even a whole project if necessary, but they should only do so when it’s absolutely necessary.



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