Project Management Why Product Owner Should Have Technical Background

Why Product Owner Should Have Technical Background

We know that product owner has a big role in Agile Scrum team. The role of the product owner itself like defining vision, managing the product backlog, anticipating client needs, and many more — that’s too much for getting one more requirement on the Product Owner criteria. Okay, before you judge me, let me tell you my story.

I had developed some projects using Agile Scrum. We had sprint based timeline, Scrum routine, and etc. I barely looked at my developer’s code back then. But life is like a rotating wheel, sometimes we had a crisis time when we were facing the deadline but we were still far away from the goal and we must speed up our development time. At that point, product owner (PO) must think fast, think smart, and be reliable.

As a PO, I should be able to speak with the technical team and understand the concepts that are vital to move a project forward. Also, we must acknowledge the product from the end user’s perspective. I know that it’s not usually necessary for a product owner to have advanced technical knowledge, but it really helps me to define issues and discuss it with my team using the technical language. I can understand a customer’s technical pains too and how a product can relieves those pains.

I quote Michael (the Director of Agile Strategies at Small Footprint) who said that a PO with some level of technical expertise also benefits your software development team in the following areas:

  1. Collaboration
    PO must be able to understand team’s questions and offer answers using the right language and terminology. If we can’t make sense of technical jargon, how can suggest solutions.

Still keep in mind that technical expertise is not the only necessary criteria. Some required skills such as business analysis is also important to be have as a PO. In my cases, I can speed up the development speed by lending my hand to track the bugs and make simple query. It wasn’t a big thing, but believe me, it really affects the speed of the team.

My previous wonderful team on GITS Indonesia with our client from Ethiopia

That was my story and if it works for me, it might be work for you as well.

Reference
https://www.smallfootprint.com/insights/how-technical-should-product-owners-be-in-agile-software-development


Hedda (Heddiaty D. Elfrida) was a female product owner at GITS Indonesia who actively being speaker to encourage women to join IT field. Since she loves to teach, now she joins eudeka.id to teach more people about new technologies such as Flutter.

She has passion on nature, animals, and always gives “second life” to a thing (a DIY activist).


GITS Indonesia has developed many mobile applications that run for iOS users, as well as for Android users. The example is Born to Sweat, an running tracker app, with Pocari Sweat (part of Amerta Indah Otsuka). You can access our case study through this page.


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