The Pragmatic Marketing framework and the Product Owner position

According to the Pragmatic Marketing framework these are the Skills and Responsibilities attributed to those functions usually associated with the Product Owner position. 


Articulate and prioritize personas and their problems so that the appropriate products can be built.

• Articulate and prioritize problems that solutions should be built for
• Build an effective relationship and team between product and development
• Serve as a checkpoint along the way to provide context and clarification to development
• Technical and product-specific acumen
• Written and verbal communications
• Deep market knowledge and understanding of personas and their problems
• Understanding of design best practices

Use Scenarios

Illustrate market problems in a “story” that puts the problem in context. Use scenarios are one component of requirements.
• Illustrate market problems in a way that puts the problem in context
• Create problem-based requirements
• Document and provide context on how the problem shows up in a day in the life of the user
• Ability to gather market data and then do detailed, independent analysis
• Data synthesis
• Ability to provide context in a way that is easily relatable to various audiences
• Storytelling
• Clear and concise writing

Stakeholder Communications

Manage proactive communications with relevant stakeholders from strategy through execution.

• Manage proactive communications with relevant stakeholders from strategy through execution
• Provide relevant, timely and easily consumable updates to all internal and external audiences
• Define key metrics and goals related to project progress and success
• Measure and report on progress toward metrics and goals
• Understanding of roadmap, release plan and project plan
• Written and verbal communications
• Ability to delegate and work well with project management resources
• Ability to manage resources up, down and sideways

Product Manager vs. Product Owner in the context of mature Product Mngt. organizations

This is the traditional view of Product Management from Pragmatic Marketing

Three domains are highlighted with circles: Strategic Management, Marketing and Technical Management. 

Every function must exist on a Product organization

Each of these functions must have one or more R and a single A in terms of Responsibility assignment matrix

It has been my own view that I fall on the Technical Product Managemnr domain; I usually have A and/or R on these functions.

As PM is a leadership position within the Product organization, I would expect to be as C or I  in all functions of the RACI matrix of the Product organization. In some instances, the definition and analysis of User Personas and Buyer Personas may also fall as R or A, on the shoulder of the PM. 

The PO, which is a SCRUM construct, has a subset of the Tech PM. On many organizations, it is clear that PM should act as PO on the context of the development team practicing SCRUM. This subset of functions may be open for discussion, but I do not want to discuss that here.

However, some organizations, contract directly to the position of PO, which may indicate that the other tech functions are orphaned, or under the Strategic management. This may be the best configuration when you have multiple product layers; for instance: Content product, Front End product and API product (I experienced this many times at Elsevier, and yes I advocate that the API use of a product must have its own product team. I saw, also at Elsevier, a single functionality have its own Product Manager: the export function on Scopus (Yes, a manager for a button). 

At a certain point in the Job Interview you must scope what are going to be the Product Functions “assumed” to fall under Product Owner, where he is to be Accountable and/or sole Responsible, as well as what will be the KPI’s on each one. 

It would also be preferable, once this is cleared that the Informed and Consulted for each other function be discussed… most important of which is the Roadmap function.

It is important to note that these are the responsibilities from the POV of the Product organization. The SCRUM POV also has to be delivered by the PO. The overlap of responsibilities according to both POV’s is not a perfect match. 

Source: and