The problem with a strong SME being a product owner is that the team might be building a vanity product. The SME may have a strong vision but the vision is not a shared one. Many individuals within the organization simply do not understand the need and/or value proposition this new product or enhancement may offer.
If having a SME as the product owner is the correct decision, it might be advisable for a business analyst ride shotgun on the backlog development. The business analyst will perform tasks to help build the shared vision.
They will perform research, conduct stakeholder interviews, facilitate workshops and/or many of the other important tasks within the wheel house of a business analyst.
© 2018 Dwayne Wright