The Scrum Guide makes provision for the role of a product owner.
It doesn’t specify seniority, nor does it make provision for a hierarchy.
A product owner is a product owner.
That said, there will always be a significant difference between a newly minted product owner and a deeply experienced product owner that manages a global product.
In the corporate world, we often use titles to demonstrate career progression and to reward or remunerate people based on their level of contribution, depth of their experience, and their expertise.
Often, this is where the flat structure of Scrum draws a lot of fire.
How can a junior product owner with minimal experience in complex product environments be the equivalent of a product owner with a decade of experience in product development?
This is where dogma comes into play.
The scrum purists will insist there are no differences, in theory, and that a product owner is a product owner regardless of experience or expertise.
That simply isn’t true though.
A product owner is a role and not a title.
Often, a product owner will be a senior product manager or director.
In some cases, the product owner is the CEO of the start-up or venture.
In my experience, it is always useful to focus on the development of expertise within the Product Owner role rather than the title.
A great product owner collaborates with teams to develop the most valuable products and services or to solve the most compelling problems.
Doing that opens a multitude of opportunities for both the team as well as the organisation.
Product Owner Development
In every successful scrum environment, coaching and mentoring go a very long way toward building a culture of high-performance.
In terms of seniority and expertise, the same is true of product owners.
As in any field, you would expect the more experienced product owners to coach and mentor new product owners on all the nuances and complexity of the role.
In Scrum training, there is a Certified Scrum Product Owner course, an Advanced Scrum Product Owner course as well as a Certified Scrum Professional Product Owner course.
All of which are designed to help aid progression and promote greater capability at each stage of a product owner’s career.
In many of our client engagements, Agile coaches play a crucial role in helping the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and development team to grow into high-performing, Agile teams that unleashes creativity and passion.
So, there is a difference between levels of capability amongst product owners and their salaries, bonuses, and incentive programs are often based on contribution as well as expertise.
If you are interested in becoming a product owner, visit our Certified Scrum Product Owner and Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner course pages.
Product Owner Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between a Product Owner and a Project Manager?
- How is a product owner different to a product manager?
- Is a product owner a member of the development team?
- Do you need project management experience to be a Product Owner?
- How does a Product Owner integrate into a Scrum Team?
- Do project managers traditionally make great product owners?
- Is the product owner role a great fit for people in creative industries?
- Is there different levels of seniority for product owners?
- What are career opportunities for a Product Owner?
- What do Product Owners do?
- Do you need to be a developer to be a product owner for a software company?
- Can you create a Product Ownership role in a company that doesn’t do Scrum?
- What are some great traits of a product owner?
- How will I know if a product owner role is a great fit for me?
- Do product owners attend daily scrums?
- Do product owners interact and engage with project stakeholders?
- How does a product owner integrate into a marketing team?
- Do entrepreneurs make great product owners?
Frequently Asked Product Owner Training Question
- What is a Certified Scrum Product Owner?
- Will I be able to lead product development after doing a CSPO course?
- What will you learn on a CSPO course?
- How well recognised and respected is the CSPO course?
- What do you need to know to sign up for the CSPO course?
- How well does a CSPO course prepare you to be a product owner?
- Do I get textbooks and course materials as part of my CSPO course?
- What would be a good certification path for a Product Owner?
- Are there different CSPO certifications and how do they differ?
- How long is the CSPO course and how is it configured?
- Is the CSPO course theoretical or practical?
- Do companies invest in CSPO courses or is it primarily individuals?
- How do I progress as a Product Owner?
- Would you recommend the CSPO course for entrepreneurs?