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Why Product Owners are becoming highly demanded

By Andrés Polanco Leamus
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Technology is constantly growing and evolving. Today we find ourselves in a world where the producer and consumer are becoming more united than ever before. Particularly though, since the late 1990s we have seen an increase in iterative programming disciplines that involve cross-functional teams within Scrum and Agile settings.

Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber (creators of Scrum) defined the Product Owner as ‘a figure who is responsible for maximising the value of the product and the work of the Development Team’. For a Product Owner to succeed, the entire organisation must respect their decisions - achieved through effective management of the Product Backlog, and clear, prioritised objectives that are focused on the needs of the team, customers, and most importantly, the USER.

 

Product Owners ensure products are built faster, with more precision and greater ROI for our business. They’re the ones that can really maximize value across all areas.

Are these responsibilities easy or simple? The answer is absolutely not!

 

In essence, a Product Owner is the person in charge of answering the question “Is this what our customer wants/needs?” - an extremely challenging job to do. POs need to be market facing and work very closely with customers. They need to be able to build and communicate a vision that is aligned with the maturity and capabilities of Development teams. A Product Owner is not someone that can work alone - they need to be part of the team and build a backlog that is consistent with the needs of several different stakeholders.

 

The Product Vision

The vision should communicate the essence of the future product in a concise manner and describe a shared goal that provides direction but is broad enough to facilitate creativity. - Roman Pichler, Product Management Expert and Trainer.

An effective product vision should describe your target customer or user and the value proposition for that customer/user and should be refined constantly throughout the product development life cycle, communicating effectively to stakeholders for their buy-in and support.

 

Are Product Owners in high demand?


Yes! Every day we’re seeing more and more organisations changing their culture and transitioning from more traditional/waterfall environments where value is added at the end of every release and switching to Agile and Scrum practices, changing a “fail-safe” plan for a “safe to fail” vision focused on learning and improving on each iteration.

For many organisations worldwide there is still a massive cultural change in order, but if we take a look at the growth across different tech hubs in Europe such as London, Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam to name a few - we can see that this is rapidly beginning to change, especially with the creation of so many start-ups and product-driven companies. Barcelona for one, is buzzing with more than 1,200 start-ups and is becoming a real hotspot in Europe for these types of roles.

 

Montreal Associates is here to help

For the past couple of years, I have been specializing on recruiting for Project Management, Scrum Master, Agile Coach, and Product Owner/Manager roles for our IT clients in Spain. Speaking to so many Scrum and Agile specialists, I took it upon myself to train in Scrum practices and managed to get certified as a Scrum Master through EuropeanScrum.org this year. It was a challenging yet very rewarding task, as I now feel more qualified to understand the experience and skills of each candidate to align them with the technical and business needs of our clients! I also try my best to share these practices with my team and chip in to transform the way we work. Scrum is easy to understand, yet very hard to apply!

Are you looking for a new role or are you interested in discussing hiring needs for Scrum roles in Spain? Let’s talk!

I am always interested in meeting Scrum specialists and enthusiasts and sharing valuable insights on how to transform the way businesses work. Each Consultant at Montreal Associates is specialized in a different technology niche, and we are always hungry to learn more about our market.

Feel free to reach out to me at a.polanco@montrealassociates.com or give me call on +34 934 929 534 if you have any questions or want to have a chat!

Author
Andrés Polanco Leamus
Sales Team Leader