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Is the product owner role a great fit for people in creative industries?

Yes, it is.

The creative industries, from software development through to design and engineering, often focus on creating products and services that have never existed before.

Often, they are solving problems for clients that have never been solved before.

This is the domain of Scrum and Agile.

In a complicated environment such as civil engineering, the problem that needs solving has often been solved many times before. It is a known element and people have a fairly good idea of what to do and how long it would take to do the thing that needs doing.

If a bridge is the best solution, people know how to build the bridge and have a fairly good idea of how all elements of the bridge-building project unfold.

This is the domain of project management.

Product Ownership

A great product often starts with a vision and purpose.

In complex environments, we have a potential customer and a market if we can solve the right problem or create a new product, service or feature that delights that customer.

The ‘how’ element is often unknown.

To start, we simply have a need or opportunity, and we can explore all those elements to make sure that we are building the most valuable product or solving the most compelling problem.

In creative industries, often a Creative Director falls into the category of a product owner.

They have a great sense of what delights customers, and they are passionate about creating products and services that do exactly that.

They often have the authority to make decisions and are highly skilled at working with teams to produce end-products that check all the quality control boxes.

The problem for most creative industries is that they still work in a traditional project management fashion where elements of a project cascade based on time and cost elements.

How long will it take to build a great website that blows your customer away? How long will it take to create a logo and brand identity that truly delights your customer as well as their customers?

The Opportunity

Scrum offers an opportunity to transition to a culture of creativity and collaboration that empowers teams to solve compelling problems and create valuable products.

Working in small, cross-functional teams that collaborate toward building working products and services in short, sharp cycles known as sprints helps ensure that you are always building something of value to your customers.

It draws the customer and the product owner into a co-creative collaboration that focuses on the most valuable elements being built.

Working closely with customers and the creative team enables the product owner to focus on producing the most valuable product, service or feature while empowering the creative team to develop the solutions and processes that best fit the complexity of the project.

In a traditional project management environment, the creative director or project manager can be a bottle neck. It also sets one person up for failure.

Scrum empowers teams to take ownership of the ‘how’ whilst fully understanding the product vision and purpose via the product owner. The product owner becomes an integral part of a wider team to ensure that great work is produced.

If you are interested in becoming a product owner, visit our Certified Scrum Product Owner course page as well as the Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner course page for an idea of progression within the role.

Product Owner Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Product Owner Training Question