Things Nobody Tells You About Product Ownership – Part 2

What is sometimes misunderstood is that there are layers in effective Agile management and Product Ownership. For instance there is the Product Manager, someone above the Product Manager and then at the bottom, there is the Product Owner.  So as a Product Owner, you are essentially a Product Manager with an Agile thinking frame of mind.  

But something that nobody will tell you about Product Ownership is how often you will likely refer back to traditional Product Management approaches and methodologies. The only key difference now is that you are working in Agile, and we do things a little bit differently.  

Some of the key differences between Product Managers and Product Owners are:  


Product Manager  Product Owner 
The role looks at the big picture with a long-term project in mind.   The role looks at the smaller and finer details that are more short-term focused.  
Focuses on the vision of the product.   Makes the product vision into an actionable backlog of incremental items.  
Emphasizes customer understanding.   Focuses on customers’ needs. 
Prioritizes features.   Prioritizes development of teams.  
Focus is on Product Roadmap.   Focus is on Backlog, epic and user stories.  

 However with all these differences aside, both roles can learn so much from one another. This is because both Product Managers and Product Owners are two roles with one goal: to build and improve a product that helps solve customers’ problems. So instead of dividing these roles, it is recommended that by synergising these two roles we can achieve a more efficient workflow, leading to faster results.   


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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