A Camel is a horse designed by a committee!

One reason bigger companies fail to innovate is there is no ONE Empowered Product Owner (or product manager, program manager, etc.) that owns the entire product vision. Even if there is one person assigned responsible for the product, he/she is not empowered to make the final decision on most things. When coupled with the Agile way, this leads to disaster as the product team cannot get any clear answer to their stories.

A great product owner is one who lives and breathes the product and has access to all the information required to make decisions and the ability to lead. Think of a product owner as the CEO of the product.

In a startup, the best person to be the product owner is the one who owns the vision, most likely the CEO. In a bigger company, the person who owns the product line is probably the best person. It’s a role that can’t be outsourced and requires that person is an acknowledged leader in the space in the company. If you can’t see that person as the mini CEO, you have the wrong person!

Wikipedia and other sites talk on other skills they need to have and while they are important, the most important skill is to have a leader who is empowered to make decisions that the team needs and the guts to make difficult ones.