Product Owner in Agile Marketing is a member of the Marketing Team together with the Scrum Master and the Development Team (I usually call it the Production Team as I consider it more fitting considering the marketing domain).
Why is Product Owner in Agile Marketing important
As with any other Agile or Scrum team, in Agile Marketing the Product Owner is a key role on your Marketing Team. However the role of Product Owner in general is somewhat underestimated in the Czech market. Organizations that are trying to implement Agile (or Scrum) usually focus on hiring Scrum Masters (or Agile Coaches). They do not put the same effort in hiring quality Product Owners. That is very bad approach! The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from work of the Development Team. In Agile Marketing she or he thus maximizes the value and results of your marketing.
In Agile Marketing the product of the Marketing Team is the marketing itself (advertising, campaigns, communication, …) by which you promote the sales of your products and/or services. The Product Owner needs to have a clear vision of what your marketing goals are (preferably defined using SMART method) and what you should do to achieve those goals. She or he needs to have both autonomy and trust from the management of the Organization to make the right decisions. For the Product Owner to succeed, the entire organization must respect his or her decisions.
Let’s use the Scrum Guide and take a closer look on responsibilities of the Product Owner.
The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:
- Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;
- Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions;
- Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs;
- Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next; and,
- Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.
Skills and abilities
The Product Owner needs to be available to the Development Team. This should go without saying but it’s not always the case. The Product Owner is in constant communication with the Development Team in order to maximize the value of the product. If the Product Owner is not available to the Development team as needed it is a major impediment that results on lower value of the product. Sometimes the work of the Development Team may even stop entirely as the team does not know what to do and when.
The Product Owner plays the role of communication crossroad between the Development team, final users of the product and other stakeholders. He needs to be able to communicated effectively and clearly with the Development Team and the stakeholders. He also needs to be able to obtain quality feedback from users of the product and stakeholders and translate this feedback in to the Product Backlog.
The Product Owner needs to know the Development team, it’s skills and abilities to know what can be achieved. She or he needs to have sufficient knowledge of the marketing domain so that her or his vision will bring value and results. In Agile Marketing the Product Owner needs to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the products and/or services the marketing is promoting.
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