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Explain product ownership to me like I'm five

attkinsonjakob profile image Jakob Attkinson ・1 min read

I have only worked in 3 different companies so far, but everyone seems to have a different meaning for what a Product Owner is and what it does.

At my current job, the PO just creates JIRA tasks and asks us (devs) what description to add to each of them. On top of that, he does some basic QA and is paid significantly more than a developer.

While I doubt my company is doing it right, I'd like to hear from someone with more experience what this role actually means and what's supposed to do.

Discussion (2)

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brandinchiu profile image
Brandin Chiu

Unfourtunately, you are going to find that throughout your career, job titles are a lot like "Who's Line is it Anyway", where responsibilities are made up and the titles don't matter.

The general idea of what a product owner should be doing is advocating on behalf of the product.

What does this actually mean? Typically it means examining which features drive value for customers, and coincide with driving revenue for the company.

At the highest level, this is what what your product owner should be doing.

But there is a ton of other stuff that can get tangled in there. Some product owners might also be product and/or project managers, which means they might add some labor oversight or PM work to their list.

There's no real hard and fast rule, but the high level review above is generally what their goal should be.

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saymy__name__ profile image
Jordan Engstrom

I totally agree with your statement "job titles are a lot like "Who's Line is it Anyway", where responsibilities are made up and the titles don't matter"! Hahaha I'm a "technical data analyst" but my responsibilities are that of an automation engineer.

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