Cover page by Roman Pichler

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1. Understanding the Product Owner Role

I once worked on a new health-care product destined to replace its predecessor. The new system was intended to provide more value for the customers and leapfrog the competition. After over two years of development, the new product was launched with great expectations—and bombed.

What went wrong? Somewhere between the idea and the launch, the product vision was lost amid the many handoffs. Product marketing performed the market research, wrote the product concept, and passed the concept on to the product manager. The product manager wrote the requirements specification and handed it off to the project manager, who passed it on to the development teams. There was no single person responsible for leading ...

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