Strategic product owner

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collaborative product discovery of a large product or product portfolio in a complex and layered organization.

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The work is simply too much for a single product owner. Finding or training a good product owner is hard and expensive.

Arlen Bankston explains: strategic product owners (a.k.a. Agile Product Managers) focus on iterative product management:

  • Manage competing stakeholders
  • Create strategic product vision for multi-team execution
  • Make program- and Release-level prioritization decisions
  • One per project or product family
  • Focus on Marketing Strategy and Strategic Planning
  • Spends most time in the field, facing customers and stakeholders, away from the office
  • Product vision and features, sales process, tools & collateral
  • Defining market opportunities
  • Customer acquisition & retention
  • Product pricing & marketing strategy development

Both strategic product owner and tactical product owner can be distinguished, yet are inseparable—you need both for successful collaborative product discovery.


Split the single product owner into a strategic product owner and tactical product owner. For successful collaborative product discovery distinguish between but do not separate these mutually reinforcing roles.

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Sometimes, these roles are named chief product owner and product owner.

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