Product Owner

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What does a product owner do?

Product owners carry out the duties that ensure users get as much value as possible out of a product. With a focus on product strategy, product owners set goals, oversee product development and determine which features and aspects of a product to prioritize. A product owner must also compile a list of backlog items, which are improvements that need to be made in response to user feedback. As a result, product owners must remain flexible and be able to adapt their plans to agile project management processes. 

How do you become a product owner?
Answer Part 1

Product owners should exhibit a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and at least six years of relevant work experience.

Answer Part 2

As a key leader of product development efforts, product owners must display an in-depth education. Many aspiring professionals major in computer science, business, marketing or a related area. However, incoming professionals can establish themselves as top candidates by getting their master’s in business administration, marketing or a similar field. 

Recent graduates must then acquire at least six years of relevant work experience. Professionals can start as marketing associates or customer service associates before transitioning into the product development field as product analysts. To develop their leadership skills, professionals can then move up to product manager roles after three years. By gaining product development and managerial experience, professionals can cultivate the type of thinking product owners need to generate product strategies and product roadmaps.

What is the salary of a product owner?
Answer Part 1

Product owners in the U.S. can look forward to an average base salary of $106,099.

Answer Part 2

According to Built In’s salary calculator, product owners in the U.S. earn an average base salary of $106,099. These professionals pad their salaries with an additional cash compensation of $13,260, lifting the total compensation to $119,359. Product owners can supplement their prior experience and expertise with consistent results, going on to pursue salaries around $250K later on in their careers.

What skills does a product owner need?
Answer Part 1

Successful product owners know how to balance product development expertise, analytical thinking and business acumen.

Answer Part 2

Guiding the development and improvement of products, product owners must wield product development knowledge and analytical thinking. Knowing the ins and outs of a product allows product owners to create realistic goals for teams while understanding the time and resources needed for each stage. Analytical skills then serve as the perfect complement to product knowledge since product owners must be able to conduct product analytics and determine the areas where improvements are needed the most. 

Although product owners must focus on how to optimize the performance of products, they also need to align product goals and improvements with larger business goals. Business acumen helps these professionals decide which features or adjustments are most profitable and most necessary as a result. An experienced product owner knows how to blend these areas with communication skills and other essential traits required for the job.


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