Picking a Product Owner
Choosing the proper person to be the Product Owner on your team is a critical factor to success. Scrum.org explains a Product Owner “is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development Team”.
A Product Owner needs to be an expert at what you’re building. Not an expert in the technology the application is being built in, not an expert in your organization, but a subject matter expert in what your application does. The value it provides to the end users. The value of each and every story, feature, and epic and how they relate. You have experts in the technology and your organization already.
A good Product Owner needs to be able to look at two stories and prioritize them without prejudice on the technology. With subject matter expertise they prioritize one over the other because they know, first hand, it’s more important.
Simply handing your Product Owner role to someone in your team doesn’t get the value you need from a Product Owner. A technical Product Owner will prioritize the work with their technical expertise. What features build the foundation of the product better in their mind, what features give the “blinky lights” has I like to call it, basically what the development team would think needs to be built. It’s not because they don’t care about the business value. Let’s face it everyone on your team wants to be successful. It’s simply because they don’t have the knowledge to make the choice any other way.
Prioritizing the business value and needs are at odds with prioritizing technical implementation. It's a balance of both, a Product Owner with a business subject matter expertise, and a technical team, that provides the best prioritized backlogs. They are not the same role, don't underestimate how important the proper Product Owner is to your success!