ABSTRACT: Picking the right product owner involves finding a person who can do three critical activities.
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An effective product owner is able to:
- align to organizational goals
- network effectively
- actively listen
Before we explore the components of effective product owners, let's do some background. The product owner in The Scrum Framework is, " is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from work of the Development Team"- source, The Scrum Guide p.6
You will notice that these three activities above are observable. This is key because picking a product owner isn't about their Hogan assessment, MTBI, EQi, or KAI profiles. It's about finding a person who consistently does the right things.
Even better news is that you can identify these characteristics in potential candidates before selection.
Here's an approach to finding the right product owner.
Ask for examples of when your candidate has aligned an organization or team to the goals of a company
Ask for examples of a time your candidate has networked and this network has solved problems or removed impediments for their team.
Ask for examples of how your candidate actively listened and gained insights that had business value.
This may seem simple, but it is incredibly powerful and you will be amazed at the results as you hire the right product owner candidates.