What is a product owner?

Posted on February 4, 2021

product owner

A product owner ensures that a government service or program is effective and meets people’s needs. This role is different from a project manager, who’s job is to make sure a project gets done on time and on budget. The product owner is accountable for whether the service is any good. This mindset helps to create government service experiences that are enjoyable, easy, and not things people dread having to do.

Examples of products

  • Accessing services or information on a website
  • Paying a parking ticket
  • Getting a building permit
  • Viewing a public document
  • Borrowing a book
  • Getting your street swept

How it works

There are six phases in the lifecycle of product management:

  1. Product framing: identify the problem, create a vision, and define success.
  2. Research: learn from people about their needs and values.
  3. Design: synthesize the vision, ideas, and research into a prototype.
  4. Pilot: test solutions in real-time, with real people.
  5. Launch: offer your product to the public.
  6. Measure: use metrics and data to measure success and plan improvements.

product lifecycle diagram



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