In this Lightning Cast, you’ll discover what it takes to transition to a Product Owner role and be successful.


A Lightning Cast is a shorter form episode modeled after lightning talks.  You’ll get valuable content in 8 minutes or less.


Being a product owner is more than writing user stories, creating roadmaps, and managing the backlog.  It’s really about creating value for the customer.  We discover things that the customer will truly value which in turn will create value for our organization.

I think this is a great role for business analysts because to be successful, you need a lot of those business analysis skills.  But to be successful, you need to shift your mindset.


You Need a Mindset Shift

To successfully transition to a Product Owner role, we need to shift from focusing on outputs to creating great outcomes for our customers and our organization.  We must shift from the tactical to the strategic.

Instead of focusing on requirements, we must focus on experiments to understand what’s truly valuable to our customers.

We need to shift our focus outward to understand customer problems and opportunities in the business environment.

Instead of analyzing data and making recommendations to decision makers, we are the decision makers.  The responsibility of the decisions and the resulting outcomes is on the Product Owner.

Finally, we want to focus on organizational agility.  Organizational agility is comprised of three factors: time-to-market, customer value, and innovation.


Focus on Organizational Agility

We need to be able to deliver quickly to the market or our competition will have a first mover advantage.  We need to build things that are truly valuable to the customer that they need and want.  Without innovation and experimentation, will be left behind as the market progresses.  We’ll be the next Blockbuster video or Kodak and lose market share.


The Three Lenses

As a Product Owner, we need to look at products through three lenses.

  • Is it valuable? Does it provide value to the organization and to our customers?
  • Is it feasible? Can we build and maintain it?
  • Is it usable? What’s the customer experience like?


If the product is valuable and feasible but not a great customer experience, we’ll lose customers.  If the product is valuable and great customer experience but it’s not feasible, we can’t do it or maybe we shouldn’t do it.  Products that are feasible and create a great customer experience but are not valuable to the organization are a waste of resources.


The Four Quadrants of Product Ownership

When we look at the Product Owner role, I like to think of four quadrants.

  1. The product owner is product manager. They work to understand what the customer wants and needs.
  2. A product owner is a leader. They are able to create a compelling vision of where we want to go and how to get there and are able to use their vision and influence to lead others to achieve that goal.
  3. A product owner is also project manager. They have the ability to understand how long it will take to get there.  They can apply metrics like cycle time, velocity, and throughput to forecast how long it will take to achieve the desired outcomes and plan appropriately.
  4. The product owner is a Business Analyst. They are able to see the big picture and the break things down into smaller chunks. They also consider the upstream and downstream impacts and are able to facilitate better collaboration with the team, understand what the business case looks like, and keep things moving forward by creating a shared understanding.



If you’re considering stepping up to product ownership, I have a special resource for you.  Go to  There you’ll find a set of podcasts, blogs, book recommendations, and some videos help you better understand the Product Owner role and how to be successful.


Listen to the full episode to see what it takes to be successful as a Product Owner.



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