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There Are 6 Types of Product Owners: Which One Are You?

Product owners act as a bridge between the sponsors and the teams, but very few know what the role is all about. People that own only a feature or product details wrongly call themselves as such. On the other hand, some own an entire product portfolio but are satisfied with the product owner title. In his blog article, Roman Pichler helps understand the six types of product owners.

Learning the Differences

The following roles stem out of Scrum product owner:

  • The Scrum owner is responsible for a product and analyzes how to optimize it.
  • A feature owner owns an end-user feature in your product, like search.
  • A component owner looks after architecture building blocks. For instance, a persistence layer.
  • A platform owner maintains a platform that hosts several shared software properties.
  • While your SAFe product owner manages the product information, the portfolio owner leads a cluster of products.

All product owners must manage products, but their skillsets differ to meet their role requirements. You can club some roles like the product, feature, or portfolio owner. Here are details of the six types of product owners to help you distinguish them adequately:

Scrum Product Owner

Sometimes called a product manager, the role demands you to own the complete product. For example, Microsoft Word is a product. The ability to save a document is a feature that the product offers. So, you own Word as well as the features in it.

Feature and Component Owner

Saving your writeup in the Microsoft Word is a software capability that a feature owner is responsible for. Component owners must have technical capabilities to manage an architecture block like the user interface or payment services. Both the product owners belong to a product team that develops a wholesome product run by a Scrum or chief product owner.

Platform Owner

The role enables you to own a software platform. It demands you to reduce product time-to-market and boost cost-efficiency. You must have advanced technical knowledge to interact with developers that use your platform for product development. As the software platform starts growing, you can share ownership with the feature and component owners.

SAFe Product Owner

Though the position has its origins from the agile scaling framework, your work scope differs from that of a Scrum product owner. As a SAFe owner, you manage product information, outline user stories, determine product backlog subtasks, and coordinate with development teams. While the SAFe product manager makes strategic decisions, you work on product tactics as a SAFe owner. The Scrum owner gets to manage the full product.

Portfolio Owner

Often called a project portfolio manager, this role is responsible for several products. For instance, if you own Microsoft Office, products like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel also come under your jurisdiction. You must regularly interact with product owners and align strategies, roadmaps, releases of the products. By addressing dependent issues, you streamline the overall user experience of Microsoft Office.

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