Product Owner Excellence

What makes a product owner excellent? Is it subject matter or domain knowledge? Is it discipline around following the rules of the delivery management practice? Is it ability to elicit value propositions from or to sell value propositions to stakeholders?

In my last post ProductOwnerTraining – I listed out a set of core activities that product managers do. I think being able to perform these activities makes a product owner competent. I think that for someone to excel, it is not necessarily expressed in what they can do, but how they do it, or even in how they think about doing it.

I think for a product owner to excel, she must have the ability to produce a long term vision for the product, aligned with organizational vision and strategy. She must also be able to abstract meta-value propositions, like the ability to extend the product along certain axes (new client types, new reports, new process variants) without drama, or even without development effort. She must be able to see not only the visible skin of the product, but aspects of the framework around which it is built, so that she can speak, not only to what product capabilities are valuable, but what framework capabilities are valuable as well.

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