#43 – Hierarchy

Authors’ Comments:

As Christian Verwijs of the Liberators writes in his Scrum.org article, ‘Myth: The Product Backlog is Maintained Exclusively by the Product Owner’, “in complex work, hierarchy only gets in the way of the creativity, motivation, and intelligence of teams.” Therefore, though it would seem like the PO is hierarchically higher than the Development Team, it really should not be the case.

The Scrum Guide states that “The Product Owner is responsible for the Product Backlog, including its content, availability, and ordering”, but later also states that there is “an ongoing process in which the Product Owner and the Development Team collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items”. Thus, in order for the full Scrum Team to take ownership of the Product Backlog, it would be very beneficial for the PO to include the Development Team in workshops for discovering new PBIs and even to let them add and order PBIs on their own – whatever the PO needs to do to maximize the value of the work of the team.