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Last post 02:28 pm March 2, 2020 by Mounsif GHAOUI
4 replies
01:52 pm February 29, 2020

The product owner realizes that there a lot of work needs to be done. He decides to get help so he suggested the Scrum master to comply with half of the product backlog cause of limited time. The scrum master has been an ex PO of other similar projects so he is clearly acquainted with product backlog completion. What scrum master should do?

05:36 pm February 29, 2020

Scrum master to comply with half of the product backlog

I dont understand... what does this mean? How does a SM comply with half of the PB?

acquainted with product backlog completion

The SM should be acquinted with Sprint Backlog completion, not Product Backlog completion, right? What does PB completion mean? And should emperical evidence not keep the PB fluent en maybe even never ending?

03:01 am March 2, 2020

By comply the half of the product backlog do you mean the SM will help to create items for the PB?

08:50 am March 2, 2020

What does the Dev Team say in this case?

12:22 pm March 2, 2020

If you take a look to the PO and SM roles definition in the Scrum guide:

The Product Owner

The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from work of the Development Team. How this is done may vary widely across organizations, Scrum Teams, and individuals.

The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:

  • Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;
  • Ordering the items in the Product Backlog to best achieve goals and missions;
  • Optimizing the value of the work the Development Team performs;
  • Ensuring that the Product Backlog is visible, transparent, and clear to all, and shows what the Scrum Team will work on next; and,
  • Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed.

The Product Owner may do the above work, or have the Development Team do it. However, the Product Owner remains accountable.

The Product Owner is one person, not a committee. The Product Owner may represent the desires of a committee in the Product Backlog, but those wanting to change a Product Backlog item’s priority must address the Product Owner.

Scrum Master Service to the Product Owner

The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner in several ways, including:

  • Ensuring that goals, scope, and product domain are understood by everyone on the Scrum Team as well as possible;
  • Finding techniques for effective Product Backlog management;
  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items;
  • Understanding product planning in an empirical environment;
  • Ensuring the Product Owner knows how to arrange the Product Backlog to maximize value;
  • Understanding and practicing agility; and,
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed.

Scrum Master Service to the Development Team

The Scrum Master serves the Development Team in several ways, including:

  • Coaching the Development Team in self-organization and cross-functionality;
  • Helping the Development Team to create high-value products;
  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress;
  • Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed; and,
  • Coaching the Development Team in organizational environments in which Scrum is not yet fully adopted and understood.


To my opinion, the SM should facilitate the backlog management and help managing this risk by:

  1. Coaching the development team to be self organized and to supporting the PO in this situation
  2. Coaching the development team and the PO to better manage the backlog (helping on standards definition (ie. DoR) and better collaboration)
  3. Ensuring the PO remains the only responsible of the product backlog

Hope this helps.