Product owners have many exciting and rewarding career options. The product owner role is the right choice for technology aspirants who are not interested in coding. The product owner in the organization is responsible for the product strategy and drafting a technical plan for building it. The product owner is responsible for bridging the communication gap between the developers and clients, aiding the team in developing the application to align with customer-specific requirements. They are responsible for overseeing the product development journey but not in a managerial role. The product owner maintains a product backlog representing the needs of the customers and stakeholders when communicating with the development team. The product owner can direct the team to the next task of product development and provide updates to stakeholders regarding the status of the project and any uncertainties in the journey.
Career options for product owners
The product owner in the organization has a key role to play in facilitating the right communication between the business strategy team and the execution team. The product owners define product features aligning with customer requirements and maintain a product backlog for successful project delivery. They are responsible for establishing effective communication with the stakeholders and making important decisions in guiding the development team. To be a successful product owner, one needs to have a customer-centric mindset and be able to communicate effectively. Sound knowledge about agile methodology is very important and it can be acquired through SAFe POPM training and certification. The certification adds a great advantage to the job profile as they remain one of the key decision-makers in the product development journey.
The portfolio owner should be able to manage a group of related products, and the job role is often found in large organizations that work on multiple products and platforms. The portfolio owner is a natural transition from the product owner, where you will be managing multiple product owners. Portfolio owners oversee the collection of products to ensure their alignment with business goals. They are responsible for allocating the available resources and prioritizing investments. They should identify anticipated risks associated with the portfolio and communicate priorities. To handle the responsibilities successfully, one should master key skills like strategic planning, communication, resource management, and risk assessment in product development.
Product manager’s roles take a broader perspective on the entire product lifecycle. Product managers focus on market research to define product strategy and align products with customer needs and organizational objectives. Product managers take higher roles than product owners and are focused on managing long-term business strategies. They are responsible for product development and management, creating a product roadmap, developing a product strategy, conducting market research, and competitive analysis. They are responsible for guiding the scrum master and product owner. It is more of a managerial role than a technical role.
Product directors are responsible for guiding overall product strategy and contributing to the strategic vision of the business. They make a considerable contribution to shaping the product roadmap. In a small organization, a product director is an immediate career hike after a product owner. In big companies, one has to pass through a product manager role to become a product director. The product owner is responsible for long-term project planning and strategy formulation. One is responsible for consulting and collaborating with the stakeholders. They should work on proposal development and execution. Getting knowledge through courses like online CSPO certification training could be an advantage at this juncture. The leadership role primarily focuses on planning, leading, and controlling.
Head of Product
The head of product is a leadership role in the organization responsible for shaping the complete product strategy. They lead teams to ensure that the product portfolio aligns with the business objectives. The market leader defines and communicates product vision and fosters innovation for continuous development. This is the highest management level in the organization for the product owner. In the smaller organizations, you will be leading product managers, and in the large organizations, you will be managing the product directors. You will be responsible for resource allocation, recruitment, and product strategy. You work with the final objective of addressing all product goals.
Product owners have a lucrative career path. You can have a role play in all aspects of product development from inception to delivery. Having industry knowledge and problem-solving skills can mould you into a product owner very quickly. Your progression to the top levels in the product owner career path will take a considerable time. It all depends on the efforts you invest and the expertise you develop in creating a valuable product. As it is a collaborative position, you should polish your communication skills to excel in your career.