Working as a leader in agile is challenging. You need to find a balance between being the authoritative leader and being that supporter of the teamwork. A few years ago we did a study to try to understand the products owners and their work, looking at the following questions: .
- What are the main responsibilities of the Product Owners
- What are the challenges of a Product Owner, and how does he or she cope with them?
What did we find?
- Most of the product owners found it hard to measure the value when developing new features
- Some Product Owners use the number of users as their main parameter of success
- To lead the vision was a difficult responsibility that the Product Owners struggled with
In Scrum, the Product Owner (PO) role is crucial for the team to be successful in developing useful and usable software. The PO has many responsibilities and challenges, including being the link between customers, other stakeholders and their development teams. This exploratory case study conducted at the software development company Spotify focuses on POs three responsibilities: (a) Identification of customers, (b) Estimation of value of their teams’ work and c) Forming a vision for the product. Additionally, challenges perceived by the POs are studied. Data was gathered through five interviews and on site observations. Results show that the POs activities are divided between daily work, such as making sure that their teams are functional and long-term activities such as making a vision for the product. The main challenge of the POs is to inspire and encourage team members to collaborate and communicate within the team and with stakeholders.