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5 Tasks Product Owners Should Say ‘No’ To

Product owners are the bridge between the team and influential stakeholders. Nonetheless, many a time, they are given tasks that fall beyond their job description. Do you face such situations frequently as a product owner? Then, you must stop blurring those lines. In his blog article, Roman Pichler shares five tasks product owners should not do.

Non-KRAs of Product Owners

Stakeholder Engagement

Product owners should not grant every wish their stakeholders ask for because they should deliver a product relevant to the market demands. Otherwise, you will end up with a working model that fulfills all the stakeholder requirements but is no of use to consumers. When stakeholders’ interests are conflicting with the product scope, make them understand. Have their buy-ins instead of blocking feedback or making the team work harder.

Limited to Tactical Roles

As a product owner, you are accountable for the value the product would generate in the end. This entails you to a ‘full-stack ownership’, meaning you have the right to make product strategies apart from the tactical ones. No matter what, you should have complete authority over the product’s vision and scope. You must perform product discovery and chalk out a work strategy alongside backlog creation. However, a SAFe product owner role is more tactical.

Team Performance Accountability

Scrum masters and agile coaches help the team to understand task accountability. Product owners need to focus only on the product. You cannot perform the dual role of a manager and a product leader by sacrificing your core responsibilities. While you can help the team until the recruitment team hires a manager, avoid doing it long term.

User Story Compilation

User stories assist in understanding what you should be doing in the product life cycle. Nonetheless, creating, modifying, or reviewing a product backlog is not just your job. You should have the team with you to compose, change, or remove stories. Your job is to ensure that the work required to develop the product is present in the product backlog, and that is all.

Project Delivery

You are not the project manager that should be responsible for the delivery of the product. Since the project manager role is not present in the Scrum Guide, all share the job functions through self-management. Product owners should be “responsible for managing the product and achieving product success—not for delivering a project,” explains Pichler.

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