Agile Product Management with Scrum : Chapter 6 : Transitioning into the product owner role

Agile Product Management with Scrum : Chapter 6 : Transitioning into the product owner role

In which I summarize and discuss chapter 6 of Roman Pichler’s book on product management in Scrum, on transitioning into the product owner role.

Summary of Chapter 6

How to become a great product owner

  • requires time and dedication

Dos and Do nots

  • Do say what needs doing. Do not say how to do it or how much it will take.
  • Do challenge the team. Do not bully the team.
  • Do get interested in building a high-performing team. Do not over-focus on short term deliveries.
  • Do practice business-value-driven thinking. Do not stick with the original scope “no matter what”.
  • Do protect the team from outside noise. Do not worry the team with changes that might happen, until they become real.
  • Do incorporate change between sprints. Do not allow change to creep in during sprints.


Product-owners-to-be usually benefit from attending a Scrum product owner training course

Embrace the agile work ethos and live the Scrum values.

  • committed to the team
  • committed to the product
  • focused on the product owner job
  • open and transparent
  • respectful of people
  • courageous; doing the right things in the right ways.

Be a team player and trust your teammates.

Get a coach

Coach. Get one.

Ensure sponsorship from the right level

To work effectively as a product owner, you rely on management’s trust and support.

you might have to educate management about the importance of your role and the extent of its authority and responsibility.

Without sponsorship from the right level, you are likely to lack authority, and, as a consequence, will struggle...

Continue to grow

Continuous improvement, reflection, inspection and adapting, well past initial onboarding.

Developing product owners

What the organization can do to grow great product owners.

Recognize the importance of the role

Senior management must recognize the authority and responsibility of the product owner role

doing so ... is a critical success factor for any Scrum adoption

Select the right product owners

  • Not everyone gets to be an astronaut.
  • Different products may need different product owner characteristics.
  • Different organizations find different ways to staff this role.

The proof is in the pudding.

Empower and support the product owners

  • Mistakes will be made and are essential to learning
  • Flatten the learning curve by implementing training and coaching
  • Get professional help, external coaches

Empower the product owners.

A product owner who is not empowered to decide whether a feature will be delivered as part of a release, for example, quickly loses credibility among the Scrum team members and the stakeholders.

working as a product owner is usually a full-time job.

Freeing product owners from their other obligations gives them the ability to pay full attention to their projects.

Read the book

It’a a good book, you should read it.

While I hope my summary is helpful, it misses nuance and examples from the book itself.

This post is part of a series

This post is part of a series of posts about chapters in Roman Pichler’s Agile Product Management with Scrum.


Cover image : Change Machine via CC-BY-SA-2.0