As Agile and Scrum methods have surged in popularity even outside of the software development space, the importance of product owners has, too.
These key members of a company’s development team help iron out design and coordination issues between executives and developers, while keeping the product aligned with the company’s vision.
However, not all product owners are the same. While you may think hiring and interacting with a specialized product owner is a complicated process, you’re likely to find that acquiring such an expert or even delegating the responsibilities to an existing member of your team is well worth the effort.
To better understand if having an internal product owner is a good idea for your business, it helps to first fully grasp the importance of the role itself.
What is a product owner?
From overseeing sprints to strategizing alongside developers, the product owner does a lot to keep product development moving in the right direction. A product owner has the authority to make important changes to a product and oversee product-related decisions.
Above all else, this position implies having a strong understanding of internal workflow and core processes.
Under certain circumstances, a product owner can be provided by your company’s development partner, allowing the position to be outsourced so your team can focus on what they do best. However, having your own internal product owner poses some important advantages.
What is an internal product owner?
Not all companies choose to outsource the responsibilities of a product owner. Instead, they go the internal route. For some companies, this person may be an existing team member occupying a key position within the organization who knows the ins and outs of your business model and sticking points of your product. For other businesses, especially startups, the product owner may be the founder.
To provide a deeper understanding of the good an internal product owner can do for your company, we have outlined the top benefits they bring to the table.
1. Availability for daily communication
As your product’s development progresses, the need for consistent communication between invested parties and development team members grows.
An internal product owner stays in contact with the development team to keep up with progress and major milestones as well as define additional short-term goals. This makes it possible to accommodate new requirements and more without major upheaval on the dev or executive sides of the project.
2. Bridges the gap between your company and the development team
Bridging the gap between stakeholders and developers is a key role an internal product owner plays in their organization. They ensure stakeholder expectations line up with the real results of the development team’s efforts. Although a product owner outside of your company can do the same, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to interacting with the actual executive team directly.
An internal product owner functions at the point where development technicalities and major business plans mix. Their proximity to both of these essential sides of your organization’s development projects allows them to build trust between company stakeholders and the development team by paring down the technical talk to deliver clear details on progress and milestones. This helps to ensure that everything progresses as it should and changes can happen as seamlessly as possible when they’re called for.
3. Product-related decision making
Your project’s internal product owner is depended on to get the maximum amount of value into the final product, making it as functional as possible for end users, while ensuring it is as profitable as possible at the same time. To do this, the product owner must be in a position to make meaningful decisions about your product’s development and support such decisions with executive consent.
By supporting both corporate needs and those of your company’s outsourced partners, an internal product owner forms a critical link between the two. A client-side, internal product owner is likely to have all the information they need from your company to do this. By interacting regularly with your development partners, they can keep the entire process moving in the right direction.
Issues with your project’s development backlog, budget-impacting integrations, and more can be spotted, assessed, brought to the attention of company executives, and resolved—all by ensuring a product owner is on call. Product owners are essential Securing a proper product owner for your business allows you to transform overall design plans into actionable parts that are ready to be implemented by your partnered development team.
To learn more about how an internal product owner can assist your company in bringing a product to life, reach out to our team here at VeryCreatives.