At a recent workshop, one of the participants asked me this question, “We want to start a new Scrum team. But we are confused about who to ask to be the product owner. We have a choice of someone who doesn’t know how to be a product owner, is 10 time zones away, but knows the current product, the customers and what they want. We also have a choice of someone here (same time zone) but he doesn’t know the current product or the customers. Who’s the better product owner?”
What a terrible choice. I didn’t like either choice.
I would look for a third option. I would look for someone who is interested in being a product owner, can either learn the product or learn how to be a product owner, and is local so he/she can participate in demos and sprint planning. My colleague says there is no one who could do that.
My colleague wants to know who you would pick, of the two options above: a local person who doesn’t know the current product or customers, or someone 10 time zones away who doesn’t know how to be a product owner. Please leave a comment if you have an opinion.