How to Get Started
as a Product Owner
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The tech space is expanding, and as it grows, gaps in the market and new problems emerge that need solutions. This is where a product owner comes in. These professionals work in IT and evaluate products, ensuring they produce results that match user needs and expectations.
If you have an interest in technology or a passion for delivering incredible products, being a product owner is an ideal role for you. In this guide, we’ll go through educational requirements, job outlook, annual salaries, duties, and everything you need to know about how to become a product owner.
What Is a Product Owner?
Product owners are the authority in product development and product management. They guide a product’s progress and direct its development towards success. They lead meetings to discuss product goals and issues, identify roadmaps for products, and oversee the daily activities of the software team.
Someone in a product owner role will set daily goals and manage schedules that ensure the tasks are correctly carried out. Product owners have significant roles in any product development process and ensure the product suits the users’ needs.
How Does Product Ownership Relate to Data Science?
Product ownership and data science are closely related in the sense that they both provide solutions and achieve actionable results. Data science analyzes raw data to generate insight while product owners look for reliable ways to improve customer experience.
A product owner needs to possess data analysis skills to thrive in their job. They likely need to use data to make decisions that will inform the final look of their product, as well as to develop a product strategy with the best chance of success.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Product Owner?
It will take you at least eight weeks to become a product owner. This gives you enough time to earn your certificate as a certified product owner. The time frame varies greatly depending on which educational pathway you choose and your previous experience.
Enrolling in a bootcamp will take you at least six to eight months, while other platforms like community college or vocational programs may take longer. If you choose to earn a college degree, it will take you two to four years.
Where to Study Product Ownership
There are many ways to study to become a product owner. It is only natural for individuals with formal training in computer science to be the best fit, however schools and bootcamps provide necessary training to help students to master the necessary skills. Here are some of the education options to begin your career in product ownership.
Product Ownership Community Colleges
Community college programs designed for product owners play an essential role in educating more certified product owners across the globe. They provide academic programs and skill training that will help students with any task related to product ownership. Unlike at colleges where you have to spend at least four years, community college programs typically last two years.
Product Ownership Universities
Product ownership skills are taught in different bachelor’s degree programs such as computer science, IT, and project management. There are no degrees directly related to product ownership, but achieving a bachelor’s degree can help you access job opportunities.
Product Ownership Coding Bootcamps
Coding bootcamps equip you with the key skills you need to start a tech or project management career. Bootcamps are affordable, provide efficient learning and have a proven curriculum that is regularly updated based on trends in the tech field. Some of the best product owner bootcamps are BrainStation, Product Gym, and Product Faculty.
Product Ownership Online Courses
Students can also learn fundamental product ownership concepts from massive open online courses on the internet. Online courses allow you to learn from the comfort of your home at a convenient learning pace.
Platforms like Coursera, Simplilearn, Product Manager HQ, and many others are doing a great job providing focused topics and instructions to help you become a professional product owner. Through Coursera, you can learn essential Agile methodology, and prepare for a scrum master certification exam.
How to Become a Product Owner: A Step-by-Step Guide
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Entry-Level Product Ownership Job Requirements
Most employers require their product owners to possess several attributes. The basic requirements to land a job in the field might include a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, Information Systems, or a related field, knowledge of Agile methodologies, experience with product backlog items and user stories, and the ability to work with Scrum framework.
Product Ownership Salary and Job Outlook
The tech space is growing faster than almost any field. The US Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) reports the job outlook for advertising, promotions, marketing managers is expected to grow 10 percent in the next decade. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for product owners is $87,487.
Examples of Product Owner Job Interview Questions
- How do you collaborate with other Scrum team members?
- How do you develop your product vision as a product owner?
- How do you include user research in the product discovery process?
- What other product discovery frameworks have you worked with?
- Who do you consider as the most essential product stakeholders?
What Does a Product Owner Do?
Product owners are responsible for prioritizing, assigning, and reviewing the work created by development teams while ensuring the proper functionality of the product. They are involved with gathering product requests, coordinating production sprints, and scheduling product release. Below we list some of the key responsibilities of a product owner.
Develops product vision
The product owner is a crucial part of any Scrum or product development team as they define the development of the product. They are primarily engaged with the product interface, strategy, business processes, and product feature development.
Product owners develop the product vision and blueprint. They describe what the product should look like, how it will perform, and what it will do for users. They work with business analysts, management, and other departments to make product decisions.
Create product backlog
The product backlog document is a document that guides the design and engineering team. Product owners are collaborators with these teams, so they create this document to outline and prioritize each task for the team.
Collaborate with key stakeholders
The role of a product owner involves collaborating with internal and external stakeholders as well as customers to build the best products. Primarily because they hold the product vision, they ensure the product team is in touch with what the stakeholders want from the product.
Essential Product Ownership Skills and Certifications
Every competent product owner has essential skills and certifications on their resume. These skills enhance product owners’ effectiveness and increase their ability to maximize product value. A product owner certification, on the other hand, is proof of a product’s owner capability for the job role.
Product Ownership Skills
Product owners must be able to critically see beyond problems and identify solutions quickly. They must prioritize backlog items based on their importance, relevance, and linkage with other tasks. Logical thinking is essential when identifying product requirements.
You must be an excellent communicator to function effectively in this leadership role. Communication is as essential as any other soft skill in the product owner’s portfolio. They must liaise effectively across all the teams they have to work with, such as stakeholders, the Scrum team, and the Scrum master.
Product owners are good decision-makers because they are responsible and accountable for the product. They must think about the product, communicate with the team, and make analytical decisions about the next steps regarding the products.
Product Ownership Certifications
Product ownership can be a complex field that involves knowledge of a variety of subjects and tools. You will need to pass certification exams to meet many product management requirements. Below we list some of the certifications that are important for a product owner to possess.
Certified Product Owner by Product Manager HQ
This certificate is for any aspiring product owner who wants to master agile product management skills. The program offers introductory lessons on creating a business model, validating ideas and Scrum foundations, and fundamentals of agile product management.
Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
This certification is for product owners to learn basic project management skills. It teaches individuals how to own and execute an idea. It also delivers a fundamental understanding of product ownership principles.
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI – ACP)
This is a comprehensive program designed for product owners with relevant experience. It teaches individuals how to be influential members of agile teams and how to manage every aspect of a product development team.
Reasons to Become a Product Owner in 2021
There are many reasons to become a product owner in 2021. The field is growing and lucrative with numerous career opportunities. These professionals serve a key role in any business because they help maximize business value and identify valuable products.
As product owners have talents that are in-demand for a variety of fields, you will have the flexibility to work with products that interest you. If you enjoy organizing, planning, and have strong interpersonal skills, this career might be perfect for you.
Product Owner FAQs
Can a Coding Bootcamp Help Me Become a Product Owner?
Yes, coding bootcamps can provide you with a focused curriculum and hands-on experience to learn relevant technical skills, such as data analysis and project management. Bootcamps also provide career services to help you get a job after graduation.
Can You Become a Product Owner Without a Degree?
Yes, you can become a product owner without a degree. If you don’t have a degree you might find it is worth it to attend a bootcamp or take online classes. Although some employers prioritize applicants with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related subject.
Is It Hard to Become a Product Owner?
Yes, it can be hard to become a product owner. Though it can be challenging to begin a career in this field, you would find it easier with proper education and mentoring. Once you have the relevant skills and experience, there should be opportunities available for you.
What is the Difference Between a Product Manager and a Product Owner?
Product managers study customers’ wants and needs. They are responsible for every feature that manifests in a product. On the other hand, product owners ensure the development and accountability of everyone involved with the product with the help of a product roadmap.