Responsibilities and Challenges of Product Owners at Spotify - An Exploratory Case Study

  • Sigurhanna Kristinsdottir
  • Marta Larusdottir
  • Åsa CajanderEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9856)


In Scrum, the Product Owner (PO) role is crucial for the team to be successful in developing useful and usable software. The PO has many responsibilities and challenges, including being the link between customers, other stakeholders and their development teams. This exploratory case study conducted at the software development company Spotify focuses on POs three responsibilities: (a) Identification of customers, (b) Estimation of value of their teams’ work and c) Forming a vision for the product. Additionally, challenges perceived by the POs are studied. Data was gathered through five interviews and on site observations. Results show that the POs activities are divided between daily work, such as making sure that their teams are functional and long-term activities such as making a vision for the product. The main challenge of the POs is to inspire and encourage team members to collaborate and communicate within the team and with stakeholders.


Project management Product management Agile Agile methods Scrum Product Owner (PO) Software development 



The authors would like to thank the participants and people at Spotify for the opportunity to do this research at their offices in Stockholm. Special thanks to Anders Ivarson who helped with arrangements and gave valuable comments on a draft of a thesis that this paper is based on.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sigurhanna Kristinsdottir
    • 1
  • Marta Larusdottir
    • 2
  • Åsa Cajander
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.KolibriReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.Reykjavik UniversityReykjavikIceland
  3. 3.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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