Thanks for the extra context. Defining "product" is sometimes difficult, and in your case, moderately complex (though I've seen similar products in my career)
I'm sorry you didn't get the straightforward answer that you're looking for. I understand and feel your pain. Your motivations are noble and genuine. Having said that, this happens a lot in complex situations. If your problem was simple, I might be able to give a simple answer. Your problem is not simple.
Some things to consider:
* It's very difficult to communicate complex team/project context across the "interwebs" or "not live." Ken Schwaber talks more about this in this post(and I tend to agree): http://kenschwaber.wordpress.com/20...quesstion/
"...Forgive me for not giving quick answers. Surgeons don’t perform surgery over the phone, either (I think)..."
* There are other variables you did not and maybe could not describe. Some examples:
Is your team co-located? How truly co-located is it?
How good is your PO who might be split across 3 teams? Is the PO 100% dedicated/allocated to working on this project and this project only?
How good is your SM who might be split across 3 teams? Is the PO 100% dedicated/allocated to working on this project and this project only? And then we come back to the meta issue at hand.
If what you're describing is a truly complex problem, then there is no easy/quick answer, AND furthermore, the accuracy of said answer is suspect. Scrum and complexity theory (the Cynefin model, in particular) teach us that, for complex problems, it's usually better to "Probe, Sense, Respond" then try to "Sense, Analyze, and Respond". Said another way, it's better to pick a path and test it out than it is to over-analyze which path to take.
I believe this is kind of what Joshua was alluding to above.
If I were you, I would work to convince your org something to the effect of "All the easy problems are already solved. The days of one size fit's all solutions and 'best practices' are over. We live in a society with global competition and globally complex problems. Software product development is a complex space that is not predictable by statistical analysis. The best we can do, as a team, is to pick a decent path and then inspect and adapt towards a better path. If anyone else thinks they can always pick a better path for complex problems, then they should get to Las Vegas or become a stock market investor, because they will get much richer in those arenas. Or not."