Technical product owner does it really exist?



  • I am considered a technical product owner however, looking at the amount of times my "user stories" and requirements get pushback from my Architect I am wondering whether being a technical product owner is a "real" thing and if so, maybe I am misunderstanding what it is about.

    So could someone help clarify what is to be expected of a "technical product owner" if this really exists?

    Just looking for some guidance/help here.

    I am a PO for system-to-system API's.

    UPDATE: I have come to understand there is no such thing as a TPO, however the way this company is setup and the phase they are in with regards to adopting agile helped me understand why my "position" was necessary.

    1. To be able to translate customer needs related to "business logic" that needs to be implemented (i.e. retention policies on data based on domain, necessary filters and the design of the API itself)

    2. To analyze feasibility of functional feature requests taking our integration layer into consideration (we do not only deliver API's we also created the integration between source and target system)

    3. To help identify and manage any issues related to the source systems delivering the data as these are very functional in nature.



  • The very short answer is: No, there is no such role as Technical Product Owner in Scrum.

    It understand why, we need to look at team composition. First, let's look at the whole Scrum team. The job of the whole Scrum Team is to deliver increments of a product that solve the needs of the customer.

    Now, we could work like in XP where the team works with the customer as needed, but Scrum says "Wouldn't it be nice if one member of the team's whole job was to really understand what the customer needs?" and so you have a Product Owner.

    So, if you are the team member whose entire job is to understand the customer's needs, then you are the Product Owner. How that turns into a backlog is largely between you and the team.

    Past that, Scrum dictates that the team takes whatever approach it wants to build the product increment. In that regard, if you are determining the best way to do the work technically, you could be doing that as a member of the Development Team if that is the best way the team knows to build the product increment. However, since you are getting pushback, that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Ultimately, the more important question than if the Technical Product Owner role exists is: Are you as a team finding the best way to build valuable product increments that are potentially shippable to the customer every sprint?



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