Comparison Between Project Roles of Agile (Product Owner) and Waterfall (Sponsor) Methodology
This person maintains the Product Backlog and ensures that it is visible to everyone.” – Ken Schwaber, “Scrum Guide” Scrum defines three basic roles1 within a Scrum team: developers (including testers), a scrum master/coach and product owner. Each of these roles is critical for delivering value effectively and efficiently. 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.
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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