Comparison Between Project Roles of Agile (Product Owner) and Waterfall (Sponsor) Methodology
Often, ERP projects are over budget and late in schedule. Stakeholders are often disappointed in the delayed realization of benefits and the quality of the delivered product. In today's economy, it is a reality that we need to be able to deliver our projects with fixed constraints on resources.
The product owner role is deceptively simple. The product owner is the voice of the customer; a conduit to bring business knowledge into the team. They define what needs to be delivered to support the business (or at least finds out), dynamically provides answers and feedback to the team and prioritize the backlog. From a business perspective, the product owner is the face of the project. This essay will highlight the role of the product owner and why something that seems so easy is generally the hardest role on an Agile team. The job description of a product owner is fairly straightforward. Their job is to act as the voice of the customer, prioritize the backlog, answer or get answers to the team’s questions and accept/reject the work that the team generates. However the devil is in the details. Understanding the nuances of applying the role is important to successfully function as part of an Agile team.
It's best to simply assign one or more customers to the development team. (Wells, 2009). This puts a huge demand on the individual taking the product owner or onsite customer role, one which for the vast majority of real-world projects is beyond the skills and capabilities of any one individual.
However, a Product Owner is authorized to make prioritisation according to requirements, having domain expertise. Project Managers don’t have the authority to do so. Apart from this, Product Owners lack the required project management skills. Hence, it can be said that a Product Owner is a Project Manager who is responsible for delegating the project team to a Scrum Master while at the same time is responsible for the success of the project and project environment.
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