Things nobody tells you about product ownership. Part 1

There is no room for excuses because you have the power to make all the necessary decisions. This can be a challenging aspect of the role, as some people handle it well while others struggle.

Things nobody tells you about product ownership – Part 1

Product ownership is a role that requires certain qualities and responsibilities in order to succeed. There are a number critical aspects that are not typically taught when stepping into this role, but they’re absolutely essential to becoming a successful product owner. Let’s unpack the first, and perhaps, most important of these: authority and accountability.

The role of authority and power in Product Ownership

The entire organisation must respect the authority and power that comes with being a product owner. As the product owner, you have the ability to make all decisions regarding the product. This freedom to shape and steer the product’s direction is a profound responsibility and a testament to the trust your organisation places in you.

The authority that comes with product ownership isn’t simply handed over; it is earned through demonstrating sound judgement, making informed decisions, and delivering value.

Balancing power with accountability

However, it is important to remember that with authority also comes accountability. This connection is a fundamental aspect of product ownership and one that cannot be overlooked. As the product owner, if something goes wrong with the product, you are the one who is ultimately responsible.

Here’s the catch: along with the power to make all necessary decisions, there is no room for excuses. You are expected to own up to any mishaps, errors or failures. Being in a position of such authority, you are the go-to person for answers and solutions when things don’t go as planned. This aspect of the role can indeed be challenging. It’s a facet of product ownership that some handle well, while others struggle.

Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the other unspoken aspects of product ownership in upcoming posts. It’s a journey, and I’m here to guide you through every step of the way.

About Effective Agile

Ralph Jocham is a Change Agent in Scrum // Agile // Coaching // Evidence Based Management and also a Professional Scrum Trainer based in Europe.

As one of the first Professional Scrum Trainers in the world, Ralph has worked directly with cocreator of #scrum, Ken Schwaber, and has played an integral part in the course development of the #PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) as well as the delivery of all certified courses.

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