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Product owners play a critical role in product development. They guide developers and teams to build the right product as quickly as possible. Knowing what to build means understanding customer needs and representing them to the development team. And steering the product through whatever management or other internal reviews lie between the finished code and release to customers.

Product owners guide the development team to build what customers need.


To be successful as a product owner takes practice. You will likely make some mistakes along the way; I and most product owners I know certainly have. Much of my learning is from “experience”, which is another way of saying that the outcome you reached was not necessarily what you wanted or expected.

To help you avoid common mistakes, my co-chief product owner for SAP Fiori elements, SAP Fiori tools, and SAP Screen Personas, Katja Zoch, and I will share what we have learned over our combined 20 years of product owner experience. We plan to do this in a series of short videos that each focus on one or two topics. This way, you can consume the information quickly and spend your time practicing what you have learned.

Our goals are simple.

  • Define what it means to be a great product owner

  • Discuss the fundamental skills you need to be a great product owner

  • Cover some key lessons we have learned so you can have the confidence to be a great product owner

  • Give new product owners a solid foundation on which to build credibility among their stakeholders and ultimately advance in their career.

What does a product owner do?

In short, a great product owner makes their customers happy with the products their team delivers. The challenge is how. Skilled product owners understand their customer and the overall market, the development lifecycle and ecosystem, and the tools/technologies available to them to deliver the best solution to their customer.

We will organize our information into four main themes:

  1. Fundamentals –will discuss the roles of product owners, what they do, the role of the backlog, key skills to develop, pitfalls to avoid, and tips for new product owners, including how to become the respected authority for your product.

  2. Collaboration – will cover one of the key factors that makes product owners successful – collaborating effectively with customers, developers, product managers, product marketers, and other stakeholders involved in the release process.

  3. Leadership – will focus on another critical skill that separates great product owners from those that lack the support from their teams to release products that address customer needs. We will talk about gaining a customer mindset, team culture, and how to influence without authority.

  4. Skills – will cover topics that product owners need to know, but often do not receive any formal training on. Examples include empathy, the role of user stories, how to prioritize, project management, choosing the right release criteria, quality, and more.

Here is what we will cover in the first episodes. These topics are all part of the fundamentals category. If you have additional subjects you are interested in, please put your suggestion in the chat.

For the SAP UX Engineering team and our SAP S/4HANA development colleagues, katja.zoch and sebastian.steinhauer.
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