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Technical Product Owner Job Description: Role, Skills Required

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19th Feb, 2024
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    Technical Product Owner Job Description: Role, Skills Required

    As Agile team grows, new roles are created to help with the technical requirements of products. One such role is the technical product owner. This combines product and technical aspects of product development. You are likely to be familiar with Scrum and the role of product owners in Agile product development. Product owners are responsible for clarifying product goals, defining roadmaps, and managing backlogs. They are experts in the product they create and if you want to understand more in-depth about the tasks of the technical product owner, we recommend Product Owner training to help you get started on your learning journey.  

    Technical Product Owner Job Description

    The technical product owners are responsible for managing the development of new products and features. Technical product owners are subject-matter experts who use their technical knowledge to bridge the gap between product and technical aspects of product development. They collaborate closely with designers, developers, and other stakeholders to make their ideas a reality. They bring life to a product by implementing the vision and direction set forth in the product roadmap. 

    Who are Technical Product Owners?

    Technical product owners are subject-matter experts who use their technical knowledge to bridge the gap between product development and product design. They bring life to a product through the implementation of the vision and direction set forth in the product roadmap. Technical product managers have deep knowledge of the technical aspects and functions of their products.  

    They know the product's unique features and how these individuals fit into the overall company plan. They can guide product strategy and communicate with the development team. It is safe to say that technical product managers are the glue between an organization's business and technical sides.

    Job Summary of a Technical Product Owner

    Technical product owners typically have many responsibilities. These technical product owner job description can include: 

    • Collaboration with designers to create mockups for the final product. 
    • Assisting the development team in clarifying requirements and helping them to understand the business side. 
    • Before moving to the next stage, prototypes and other proofs of concepts must be reviewed for feasibility. 
    • You can verify that the product meets customer needs by reviewing feedback from customers or conducting usability testing. 
    • Communication with stakeholders is important to ensure everyone is on the exact same page about features, functionality, deadlines, and other details. 
    • Prioritizing product backlog items is based on their business value, the time required to complete them, and the order they were created. 
    • To ensure that developers understand each project's requirements, coordinate with them. 
    • Communication of project status and roadblocks with other members of the team. 

    Education and Work Experience Needed for Technical Product Owner

    A technical product owner generally requires the following requirements:

    Education

    Employers generally have requirements that technical product owners at least possess a bachelor's degree in an area or subject of computer science or software engineering, information technology, or any other related field. Some employers might hire candidates with a similar associate degree or prior work experience that is comparable to having a bachelor's degree. 

    Experience and Training

    Technical product owners usually get on-the-job training to understand the particular products and processes of their company. They can also be trained in the specific technical abilities they require to carry out their tasks, including the management of databases and programming. 

    Certifications and Licenses

    There are a variety of technical certifications that could be beneficial for a product owner to acquire. These certifications show the knowledge of the owner in particular applications or products and enable them to collaborate better in technical departments. 

    Responsibilities and Duties Technical Product Owner Must Hold

    The job of a technical owner isn't well-defined within the Scrum methodology. In reality, what does a technical product owner do only comes into play when the necessity arises. This is why it's an on-demand job where the responsibilities are established after the position has been created. Here is a small overview of the technical product owner's roles and responsibilities: 

    1. Technical Resource

    The technical product owner serves as the technical expert for the agile owner of the product and the Scrum team's members. The product owner might not be knowledgeable regarding all aspects of development. It's not uncommon for product owners to have a difficult time when they need to look over technological or infrastructure-related user errors. 

    In this scenario, the product owner requires an expert in technical support who can accomplish three things: 

    • Know the needs of your customers. 
    • Learn the technical requirements in the Backlog and then upload them by the product's owner. 
    • Incorporate clarifications and solutions in the manner that is expected. 

    The technical product owner carries technical information into discussions about strategic aspects of the product. All products require a longer-term plan and planning, which requires a knowledge of the technical features and capabilities. The presence of a person who can make correct technical choices can be extremely helpful. 

    Without a technical product owner, especially someone from the development team should be involved in the decisions making, planning, and mapping (as technical resources) that could negatively impact the daily scrum as well as short-term deliverables from members of the team. If you employ an expert in development (an experienced and principal person) in the planning process, it can affect the current efficiency in a negative way. 

    Technical product owners save the day because they function as an individual not part of a Scrum. Instead, they collaborate with the product owner and aid in the technical plan. 

    2. Technical Advisor

    Technical product owners act as technical advisers to the product owner and the stakeholders. This includes the client, the product manager, the C Suite, the scrum master development team, and other internal departments (e.g., sales, marketing support for customers, etc.). 

    As such, an engineer or product manager works in tandem with the product owner. They are more involved in technical discussions as opposed to regular owners of products. 

    Some of the most essential roles a technical product manager does as a technical adviser include: 

    • Helping and advising the owner with important technical decisions. 
    • Sprint planning and resolving any technical doubts. 
    • Enhancing the efficiency of the team by determining what goes into and out of. 
    • Aiding the product's owner in determining and managing technical stories. 
    • Assisting in the creation of stories relating to debts involving technical nature. 

    Technical product owners aren’t directly involved in the planning process. The role of a technical advisor is to help the owner of the product, as maximizing the value of the product is the duty of the person who owns the product and not the responsibility of an expert technical advisor. A product that is being developed requires extensive preparation and a road map to proper execution. It also requires an expert who fully comprehends the technical capabilities. A specialist will be helpful, particularly in making the right technical choices in the company.

    Technical resources translate technical requirements in a logical way and incorporate these into the backlog of products. They also ensure that they include user stories and make sure that the product's strategies align with customers' demands. If the technical product owner is not in the office, another member of this team must take over the responsibility for planning and mapping. Be aware that this can impact the team's capacity to provide outcomes in the short run. 

    3. Customer-Technology Bridge

    Many clients are not technically proficient. In reality, the majority of clients don't. They just want things to be done. 

    There needs to be someone (other than the person who owns the product or the client advocate) who can communicate with the customer, comprehend their requirements, explain technical terms to them, offer reasonable estimates, help customers understand what's feasible and what's not while ensuring that technical information is transparent. 

    The three scrum pillars are to be maintained in a technical manner by the technical product owner. 

    1. Transparency 
    2. Inspection 
    3. The Adaptation 

    The technical product owner, thus, serves as the bridge between the development team and the customer. This involves checking the sprint regularly, making corrective steps to ensure that the sprint is not a mess, and communicating those actions to the client in a simple manner. A technical product manager acts as a bridge that links the customer with an agile group. They function in two ways. 

    4. Connecting Scrum Teams with Product Owners

    A technical product owner ensures a smooth and clear connection between a client and the scrum group, which is crucial to ensure rapid development, a solid connection between the product's owner and the team is just as vital. 

    The owner of the product is accountable for managing the backlog of products, which includes: 

    • Communicating and defining the goal of the product. 
    • Making, ordering, and distributing backlog items from the product. 
    • Making backlog transparent, understandable, and easily accessible. 

    All technical items that are in the backlog of the product are created, ordered, and then communicated to the owner of the technical product in order to make it clear and understandable. The agile team is unable to meet the deadline when the product owner is unable to communicate and create backlog items due to a lack of technical understanding. 

    To maintain a clear relationship between the product owner and the team of developers, the technical product owner takes care of the entire process, and it must be running with maximum efficiency. In the case of highly technical products or in situations where the product owner isn't comfortable with technical terms, the presence of a technical product manager is required. 

    5. Technical Consultant

    Typically, technical product owners collaborate with the product's owners. However, their role isn't restricted to this. They also act as technical experts to the individuals such as business managers, owners of products, Scrum Masters, and team members. 

    In their capacity as technical experts, they offer assistance in the areas of: 

    • Give assistance on the Sprint plan (pinpointing the areas to go into and those that should not) 
    • Help the team with crucial technical decisions. 
    • Help product owners create and manage stories regarding technical debt. 

    6. Backend Infrastructure Management and Systems Maintenance

    A technically challenging task that requires deep technical expertise. This is best handled by a tech-savvy product owner. It requires tasks such as design, especially for large-scale products in which multiple scrum teams are working in tandem. 

    A technical product owner could effectively manage ten scrum teams. Technical product owners are able to consolidate their work on technical issues and create a common technical backlog for the entire team. This includes things from software design, test architecture along with UX design. The tech product owner arranges backlog items through a process of technical flow and then prioritizes them.  

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    Technical Product Owner Qualifications and Skills

    The job of a technical product owner requires a unique mix of soft and technical product owner skills. We will go over each of them. The owners of technical products need to have these skills to succeed:

    Tech Skills

    Project Management Skills 

    The term "project management" refers to the capability to ensure the completeness of a task in a timely manner as well as within the budget. As the technical product's owner, you may not have the authority to oversee your development staff. However, you can still utilize your skills in project management to ensure that the team stays on the right track. Additionally, you can use your skills in project management to assist the team in setting goals and monitoring their development. 

    Tech Expertise 

    It is essential to be knowledgeable about technologies and the way it functions to make an informed decision about the technology to choose for your product. 

    The skills they possess must be developed to keep up with the latest developments and technological advancements. To become successful in this field, you must have these skills: 

    • Software Development (SDLC, programming languages architecture, etc.) 
    • Agile development and Scrum methods 
    • Designing, Coding, and Designing 
    • Experience with tools and applications 
    • User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Design 
    • Stories of the user (creation and administration) 
    • Product Development 

    Soft Skills

    While the job itself is usually technical, a tech product manager must keep in mind the appropriate soft capabilities. Here are some important soft skills to be aware of: 

    Communication Skills 

    Communication skills are definitely essential for all tech-savvy product managers. In the absence of it, they will not bring their vision for the product to life. Effective communication is essential to collaborating to work with Agile team members and clients in a seamless manner. 

    As a technical product owner with technical expertise, you interact with multiple people, including members of the development team as well as sales teams, marketing teams, and even customers. Effective communication is essential for your performance as a producer. Communicating effectively through written format, verbal and visual methods, and infographics and presentations is important. 

    Problem-solving Skills 

    Technical product owners must be able to resolve issues and make the right decisions for the product and company. They must be able to recognize issues and develop solutions that are beneficial to all who are associated with the project. This includes improving the product as well as ways to save money and coming up with solutions to satisfy the demands of the customers. 

    Decision-making Skills 

    Technical product owners make various choices throughout the day which can impact the goals and objectives of the business. They should be able to make decisions that are in line with the goals and goals. They must also be able to articulate the reasoning behind each decision. 

    Analytical Capabilities 

    It's another crucial ability that tech product managers should not be without. The ability to collect and analyze information and resolve complicated problems helps them make informed decisions fast. Analytical skills, as a matter of fact, include areas like: 

    • Research 
    • Logical reasoning 
    • Creativity 
    • Data analysis 
    • Critical thinking 

    A mix of these subcategories assists tech-savvy product managers in thinking through their ideas, especially when faced with problems. It is an extremely analytical position that involves finding solutions and solving daily problems.

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    Salary Range of Technical Product Owner

    The median technical product owner salary is $120,391 annually. The typical salary ranges from $90,500 (at 25.5 percent) with a senior technical product owner salary reaching up to $125,500 (at 75.5 percentile). Along with the base salary, the Technical Product Owners' salaries may also include commissions, bonuses, and profit sharing, as well as RSUs and stock options. The average salary for Technical Product Owners generally grows as they gain years of experience. Technical Product Owners ' salary differs based on the location where the job is situated. Investing in professional development, such as KnowledgeHut Product Owner courses, can further enhance their skill set and potentially lead to better career opportunities and higher salaries. 

    Conclusion

    Take the technical product owner career path as an additional way to grow your career and also to advance to a higher-level technical position. This could include becoming a technical product's lead owner or taking on an additional technical position within your business. Additionally, you can grow your career by shifting to a training or consulting position. This could include working with other businesses to help them establish the role of the product owner or giving instructions on the best methods. 

    There are a variety of paths to grow in your profession as a tech product manager. One possibility is to progress into a leadership post within your business and or can upgrade their skill sets in technical product owner resume. This could mean overseeing a group of tech product owner or playing an even more strategic position within the business. If you want to become a technical product owner and gain knowledge about everything that is about we recommend that you go for KnowledgeHut Agile training topics to get a comprehensive learning experience.  

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What is a technical product owner?

    A Technical Product Owner (TPO) is a professional who makes use of their technical knowledge to bridge the gap between the business and technical aspects of developing software products. 

    2Is a technical product owner a good career?

    The profession of a Tech Product Owner (TPO) is a great job if you are interested in working in the field of technology and are looking to grow your career. This job offers a high income and has excellent benefits for a job. Here are the most compelling reasons to be an employee. 

    3What does a product owner do at a tech company?

    A product owner is accountable for ensuring the success of a project using Scrum. The owner of the product is accountable for controlling and optimizing the project backlog to maximize the potential value of the project.   

    4Can a tech lead be a product owner?

    Within the typical timeline for delivery, The Tech Lead is often the product owner's personal feasibility expert, like the user researcher, is the user experience expert. 

    5Is a product owner a developer?

    A good career as a product owner grows over time, and while you collaborate with the development team, you're not part of the development team. Therefore, you don't require the expertise or knowledge of a developer to be a successful product owner. 

    6Do you need to be a developer to be a product owner?

    You don't need any expertise or knowledge of developers to be a successful product owner.

    Profile

    Lindy Quick

    Blog Author

    Lindy Quick, SPCT, is a dynamic Transformation Architect and Senior Business Agility Consultant with a proven track record of success in driving agile transformations. With expertise in multiple agile frameworks, including SAFe, Scrum, and Kanban, Lindy has led impactful transformations across diverse industries such as manufacturing, defense, insurance/financial, and federal government. Lindy's exceptional communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills have earned her a reputation as a trusted advisor. Currently associated with KnowledgeHut and upGrad, Lindy fosters Lean-Agile principles and mindset through coaching, training, and successful execution of transformations. With a passion for effective value delivery, Lindy is a sought-after expert in the field.

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