In general, it seems most people agree that remote work is a net positive but it also poses some challenges. Very underrated are the effects of remote work on company culture. The challenges to building a real team are probably more obvious. Nevertheless, I feel they are worth addressing.
A PO has many responsibilities, too many to mention them all here. I will focus on the three that are in my view the most important.
The text is very much an answer to the question “Why is the Product Owner needed?” or “Why is the Product Owner important?”. However, much of what I write below is also valid for project leaders or team leads within product development - even if those teams are not working with Scrum or other agile methods.
I recently wrote about the benefits of doing one thing at a time and the downsides of Multitasking. While listing things that can be done to facilitate doing one thing after another for a team, I completely missed to mention maybe the most important factor: having a dedicated team.
Raise your hand if you have been in the following situation. A colleague comes to your desk (or nowadays: they call you on zoom) to discuss something. You are busy. You quickly open the Calendar to find a time slot for a meeting. Unfortunately, you have no time right now and are also fully booked in the next days. Thus, you schedule a meeting in two weeks. Right before switching to the Calendar, you were able to catch a very brief glimpse of your e-mail inbox with the approximately 700 flagged or otherwise highlighted items that still need to be taken care of.