1 Product Owner, 4 Product Owner Proxies, 1 Development Team, 1 Scrum Master, 6 Products, 1 Product Backlog = Scrumbutt...

Last post 01:56 pm October 1, 2019
by Ben Burrell
01:56 pm October 1, 2019


I have been added as a Scrum Master with a new scrum team (approximately 6 months old). As mentioned in the title, the structure of the Scrum Team is:

1 Product Owner 

4 Product Owner Proxies

1 Development Team 

1 Scrum Master

6 Products

1 Product Backlog

So this is what i've walked into as the new Scrum Master. There are a number of areas for improvement with our team, but Rome wasn't built in one day, right? Now here's the deal, I would love ALL your feedback on this situation, but here's the situation i'm currently attempting to address:

Our product owner is our vice president of supply chain. We are developing a software suite that is a combination of purchased software and developed software. The VP wants to own the priority of work being done, but doesn't want to own the backlog. He has created PO proxies in our department (basically the system administrators of legacy products being replaced) to meet with the users, gather the stories and populate the backlog. Throughout the week these PO proxies gather up user stories and put them into a single backlog that contains PBIs concerning 6 different products.

Here's what i'm currently thinking as next steps:

- Ask VP to provide list of priorities to allow PO proxies to arrange the backlog to match it.

- Ask VP to empower POs to prioritize their respective PBIs in the backlog, as long as the products stay prioritized to match VP's roadmap.

- Ask VP if he's open to creating separate backlogs for the different products. (Currently he likes seeing all the products on one screen during weekly refinement and sprint planning.)

- Continue to throw Scrum Guide best practices in their faces until they agree to adapt :)

Any feedback on my current situation would be great; please feel free to comment on the overall situation as well. Thanks everyone!