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What Are the Must-Have Product Owner Skills?

A product owner is one of the three most important roles in a Scrum team, along with the Scrum master and development team. A Scrum product owner’s responsibilities are varied, and they must possess a number of hard and soft skills to do their job well. Here, we’ll cover the top product owner skills to be successful in a Scrum team and what prospective Scrum product owners should know about the role.

What is a product owner?

A Scrum product owner’s role is to ensure that the end product generated by the Scrum team has the maximum value to the customer. They are in charge of aligning customer needs with business values so that the product can meet the requirements of both stakeholders and consumers.

Scrum product owner responsibilities include:

  • Managing the product backlog
  • Assessing and approving the product throughout its progress
  • Researching and understanding customer needs

What are the key product owner skills?

Analytical skills

A Scrum product owner’s priorities lie in managing, assessing, and approving the product backlog. They must, therefore, be skilled analyzers and critically evaluate product issues and updates to come up with rational solutions quickly. 

Communication skills

Scrum product owners act as the bridge between stakeholders and consumers and the development team. They must be active listeners and be able to communicate each sides’ needs, requirements, and concerns without anything getting lost in translation. 

Collaboration skills

As the middlemen of Scrum teams, product owners must be comfortable with constant collaboration. They must have a teamwork-focused mindset and be comfortable with delegation, conflict resolution, and working with different personalities and emotions. 

Technical skills

As part of a Scrum team, the product owner must have tangible technical skills. Development, design, UX, and coding are all areas that product owners should be familiar with to do their job well. 

Project management skills

Scrum product owners should be well-versed in Scrum and Agile frameworks for project management and familiar with all relevant terminology and ideas. Even though they may not be project managers, they must still understand project management processes and have the confidence to lead a team to achieve project goals.