Any pair of programmers can write some code in a garage, but once that code ships to real users you have a product, and that’s a different thing entirely.
No matter if you’re a software vendor or a packaging manufacturer building software to support your business, that software needs support, change management, hosting, integrations and documentation. “Just build it!” is often too easily said. Once it is built, you will have that software in your IT landscape for years to come.
Hiring a product owner will help you with the following things
- Setting a vision your product should achieve
- Drive change in the product with a team of developers
- Collect requirements from users and stakeholders
- Help users and stakeholders understand your product’s brilliance
Maybe you don’t need a product owner for every VBA script written in Excel, but any system with sufficient amount of users should have a product owner.
Here are some of the qualities I find important in a product owner
- An excellent communicator to gather requirements and communicate plans
- An ambassador that will make people interested in your product
- Comfortable with drawing up plans and executing on them
- A source of great values from where the team can inherit their culture
- An internal marketer to make sure the product has continued funding
The product owner doesn’t need to be a tech wizard. Its much more important to get a good in-house marketer for your product.