A Product Owner is a role in a software development company that is responsible for product development and opportunities.
There is often confusion about the difference between Product Owners and Product Managers.
Product Managers’ and Product Owners’ roles guide the product through the development process and work with the same teams across the organization.
But these are two unique roles, and the main difference is what they manage. Product Managers manage resources. They are primarily responsible for delivering the product in a timely and cost-effective manner, which sets their focus on keeping to a set budget, schedule, and scope.
In opposition, a Product Owner focuses on the vision of the product. Their key responsibility is to reach the maximum potential for the product by making the product in demand. This is achieved by market research, customer interviews, or a/b testing.
Let’s go deeper into the responsibilities of each of them.
What Is Product Manager Responsible For?
The Product Manager plays a tactical role and handles more day-to-day tasks. This person takes full responsibility for the whole team and ensures they will complete all assignments on time.
A Product Manager’s primary responsibilities include the following:
- Project planning and scheduling
- Tracking and measuring team progress
- Ensuring budget compliance
- Resource allocation
- Vendor management
- Risk analysis
What Is Product Owner Responsible For?
The Product Owner plays a more strategic role, he looks at the big picture of the project. This person defines the product’s vision and what the perfect customer experience should be.
The Product Owner’s key responsibility is to reach the maximum potential for the product by making choices about what to include or exclude from the project. That is, the Product Owner checks the validity of the business idea.
Of the many other Product Owner responsibilities, the main ones to consider are:
- Concept development and product design. The Product Owner must design a product that will bring the highest profit. A product designer can help with this, although usually, the product owner has the necessary product design skills.
- Product development strategy. The Product Owner should create, manage and share the product vision across financial and marketing strategy.
- Monitoring the return on investment, budget, and total cost of ownership.
- Stakeholder management. The Product Owner holds meetings with stakeholders, customers, users, and others who can contribute and support the product owner to maximize the product’s value.
- Analytics of the customers’ needs. Based on the analytics results, the Product Owner visualizes the MVP and creates the product roadmap.
In practice, the Product Owner can be the Project Manager’s contact person on the customer’s side. For example, Product Owner can transfer requirements for creating a user story, prioritize tasks for sprint planning, etc.
The Difference Between a Product Owner and a CEO
The Product Owner is also sometimes compared to the CEO. This is typical for startups because the CEO often combines the Product Owner’s functions and management in small teams.
The Product Owner pitches ideas to the CEO, and the CEO decides on these ideas. Therefore, the CEO’s function is managerial, and the Product Owner’s function is creative, financial, and sometimes marketing solutions.
What Projects Need a Product Owner?
- Small projects and startups that require more experience and knowledge.
- High-risk projects due to significant changes in the market.
- Projects that need a new life. This means implementing new features or redesigning.
What Questions Should I Ask The Product Owner On Interview?
Hiring a professional and highly qualified Product Owner is essential to making your product successful and profitable.
We have selected a few interview questions to help you choose the right Product Owner:
- Which industries do you have the most experience working in? Remember that the answer about NDA is inappropriate here.
- Tell me about the growth you achieved in your previous job. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- What is a good profit margin for my product?
- How do you plan to develop my product?
- How would you redesign my product? What would you consider when redesigning the product?
- Who do you consider to be the average consumer of my product?
A good Product Owner can make a valuable contribution to a project and consequently to a company’s success in the market.
As an expert in software development, JetSoftPro can help you choose the right product owner to achieve your business goals. Therefore, feel free to write to us for consultation.