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Relationship between a Product Owner and a Software Tester

The role of a Software Tester is an important one. While it is the developers who programme the software, it is the Software Tester who ensures that the product effectively matches the client’s needs. This liaising role requires Software Testers to be constantly in touch with both the parties — the developers as well as the Product Owner. In this post, we shall talk about the latter relationship.

product-owner-and-software-testerIn agile software development, the Product Owner* is responsible for the product’s vision and roadmap. For a successful product, it is important that the Product Owner clearly spell out roles and responsibilities as well as define working relationships.

In agile development, the name Software Tester is somewhat of a misnomer, because software testers do so much more than just logging bugs and finding errors.

If the Product Owner’s role is to develop the vision and roadmap, it’s the Software Tester who plays one of the key roles to translate that vision into a working solution. For this, it is necessary that he/she should have a clear sense of what the ideal product must look like in order to support the owner to carry it out. On a day to day basis, a software tester has to be constantly in touch with everyone in the team — from junior programmers to delivery head to continuously improve products and ensure that they adhere to the product requirements. It must be clarified here that the tester’s role is not that of nitpicking, his/her job is simply to help build an amazing product through constructive feedback.

Both development and testing teams must capture the customer’s requirements as test stories and understand their use. At the same time, if there are any loopholes, they should be communicated to the Product Owner. The Product Owner then constantly prioritizes the Product Backlog with help from the Test Manager/Business Analyst and will discuss the same with Delivery Head. For converting ideas into amazing products, Test Leads must be focused on out-of-the-box thinking while the Product Owner must be internally focused on the product.

Constant communication with the Product Owner enables the Software Tester to think from his/her shoes. Simultaneously, the Test Lead is the go-to person in case the Team needs any clarification on testing the user stories, suggestions or has any product related assignments.

Reliable, high-quality testing has a positive influence on the organization’s reputation as it reduces menace and increases customer satisfaction. Though the business value of Software Testing may start out small, it nearly always grows over time. In the long run, software testing should be seen as a cost-effective opportunity to reduce risk, lower costs and enhance a company’s ability to deliver a quality product to its client.

(* The term Product Owner varies from Business to Business)

If you think whatever mentioned in this article implies for your role/designation, then you are at the right place. Drop us a message if you’d like to learn more about the relationship between the Product Owner and Software Tester and how it would apply to your product.

By: Arrvind Balasubramanian


Arrvind is the lead quality specialist at RailsFactory and is an expert in testing. He lives in Chennai, and in his spare time, he is a master of disguise (loves to don get-ups).

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