A Product Owner is a member of an agile development team. They are responsible for defining ‘what’ gets built, and for maintaining a prioritised and refined backlog of user stories.
I’ve been a Product Owner since 2015, having migrated from working as an IT Business Analyst. The roles and skills required aren’t that different, but the agile way of working enforces a rigour to the quality of written and orally-communicated requirements.
It also helps that the Product Owner is embedded within the development team, and can be the voice of the customer helping the team to understand the value they provide in what they build. By co-locating with the dev team, we can clarify requirements, and respond quickly to changing business needs.
In my company we’re using something called the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), which extends the traditional agile scrum team model to complex projects and organisations. In July 2017 I completed my SAFe PMPO (Product Manager / Product Owner) certification.