Everyone wants to be a Product Owner until…


They realize that…

  • They have to sometimes say NO to some stakeholders;
  • They have to make decisions; short term vs. long term; tactical vs. strategic; now vs. later;
  • They have to peer into the future and anticipate customer needs;
  • They have to aggregate opinions from multiple, sometimes very powerful and unique, voices;
  • They have to trust their teams;

  • They can’t tell them team how to architect or design their products.
  • They have to consider other Product Owners work in their plans and strategies; working together;
  • They have to continuously re-target towards their goals, making adjustments based on the realities of team capacity and delivery;
  • They have to forecast for AND with their teams;
  • They have to be concerned about quality and focus on building it into rather than testing it into their products;
  • They have to invest in the technical aspects of their products as much as the functional aspects;
  • They ultimately are accountable and responsible, for their team’s results;
  • They don’t always know what the customer wants; and shhhh…neither do their customers;
  • That they will never have sufficient time to perform all aspects of the job, forcing them to collaborate and partner with others;
  • They need to often take business risks with others often second guessing every decision they’ve made;
  • They win with their teams, but they alone are often blamed when things don’t turn out as planned.

Wrapping Up

As an homage to the level of difficulty associated with this wonderful role, I wanted to share some of the challenges that Product Owners face.


So that organizations and teams try to be more empathetic and supportive of their Product Owners. They deserve it.

Stay agile my friends,


Bob Galen

Bob Galen

Bob Galen is an Agile Methodologist, Practitioner & Coach based in Cary, NC. In this role he helps guide companies and teams in their pragmatic adoption and organizational shift towards Scrum and other agile methodologies and practices. Contact: bob@rgalen.com