Draft INCOSE 2013 Paper
In the Scrum Agile approach there is an important role defined for the Product Owner who is the proxy for the Customer and who is supposed to be engaged in laying out the work to be performed by the team by prioritizing the product Backlog. It turns out that this is a neglected role in the literature with only a few books dedicated just to this role, the most interesting of which is by Prichler , while there are many books dedicated to the Scrum Master role. Of course the role is mentioned in many other of the basic books on Scrum, but we would expect more explicit refinement of the role based on the fact it is essential in driving the process. Also in larger organizations this role becomes conflated with that of the Product Manager, and Leffingwell suggests that the Product Owner is a transformation of that role and that Product Owners probably work for the Product Manager on large projects. What is called Product Manager in commercial firms is the Systems Engineer role in aerospace. The Systems Engineer is the person responsible for the whole product working as advertised when delivered to the customer. The techniques that the Product Owner should draw from are those developed in Systems Engineering as a discipline. However, we need to make those techniques of Systems Engineering more agile in keeping with its spirit of increased efficiency and effectiveness in product development. Here we will apply what we learned about the essential structure of the product and its lifecycle in terms of traceability in the paper “The Essential Nature of Product Traceability and its relation to Agile Approaches” in order to explore the nature of this role, along with the idea of Pichler not mentioned in his book but developed later about multidimensional backlogs.
 Pichler, Roman. Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products That Customers Love. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley, 2010.