If you’ve read any of my work, you probably know that this role is incredibly near and dear to my heart. I’ve written a book about it. About 50% of my agile coaching revolves around aspects of product ownership. And if you search my blog, you’ll see many references to the role and activities surrounding it. For example, backlog grooming or refinement.

So, it’s hard for me to be unbiased on the topic, but I’ll try my best. And it’s even harder to keep my recommended list limited to three.

Bob Galen - Agile Product Ownership

Of course, I had to go here. I do think this book is a must-read for beginning Product Owners. It’s focused on the basics of the role and critical activities. It’s in its 3’rd Edition, which I just published in March 2019.  Of particular note is the clarity it provides around roles & responsibilities and product ownership at-scale.

I’ve also published an update to my Product Ownership Maturity Assessment using the AJI. You can get a copy of it AND a PDF-links Product Ownership book on LeanPub here.

All-in-all, a nice collection of guidance for Product Ownership.

Roman Pichler – Agile Product Management with Scrum



I know, I broke my 3-book rule here by recommending two. Oh well.

Where my book focuses on the basics of the role, I think Roman does a great job of explaining things around the broader view of product management, road mapping, envisioning, and driving innovation. Both of these books focus on creating more well-rounded Product Owners and giving you the tools to interact with your teams and organizations for go-forward vision, plans, and adjustments.

Jeff Patton – User Story Mapping

While not everyone uses User Stories, not actually likes the concept, they have become the ubiquitous standard for capturing agile requirements. And Jeff Patton is probably the foremost expert not only in developing stories but in developing the connective tissue (story maps, etc.) that connect your stories into solutions and products.

Wrapping Up

One of the biggest challenges facing Product Owners is that most organizations don’t understand the balance between Product Management and Product Ownership. How broad and deep the two roles are. And how important they are to agile teams.

One final recommendation. If you’ve never seen the Henrik Kniberg video on the role of Product Owner, you NEED to see it. It’s my goto video to quickly explore the role in classes. You can find it here…

In the next installment of this series, we’ll be exploring the role of Agile Coach. Hope to see you then.

Stay agile my friends,