Skip to main content

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have paused all purchases and training in and from Russia.

Can the PO still delegate Product Backlog ordering responsibility?

Last post 07:16 pm February 10, 2021 by Kevin Moore
6 replies
03:59 pm February 9, 2021

Hello Everyone, 

I hope I am not violating the forum ToS by asking this, but I found an apparent discrepancy between the 2020 Scrum Guide and the open assessments. 

Page 6 of the Scrum Guide lists the PO’s responsibilities including, “ordering Product Backlog items.”  The following sentence states, "The Product Owner may do the above work or may delegate the responsibility to others. Regardless, the Product Owner remains accountable." 

While taking an open assessment, I found that one of the explanations states, "Product Backlog items can be updated at any time by the Product Owner or a delegate. However, the ordering of Product backlog items cannot be delegated.” 

Has anyone else noticed this discrepancy?  Can the PO still delegate Product Backlog ordering responsibility? 

06:14 pm February 9, 2021

No I've never noticed it. Which Open Assessment was it from?

07:43 pm February 9, 2021

That was a holdover from the previous release of the Scrum Guide and was updated a week or so ago.

11:34 pm February 9, 2021

I'm not sure how to interpret Mr. Naiburg's response.  The question was from the Product Owner open assessment which I took just yesterday, and the quote from the 2020 Scrum Guide is from the current online version.


04:57 pm February 10, 2021

Thanks Kevin, we will have a look again as we have updated the questions, answers and responses.

06:11 pm February 10, 2021

Kevin, Thank you for the feedback. You are correct, we missed updating the last part of the feedback for that question.  It is fixed now. 

The basis for the question is this text from the Product Owner section of the Scrum Guide.

The Product Owner is also accountable for effective Product Backlog management, which includes:

  • Developing and explicitly communicating the Product Goal;
  • Creating and clearly communicating Product Backlog items;
  • Ordering Product Backlog items; and,
  • Ensuring that the Product Backlog is transparent, visible and understood.

The Product Owner may do the above work or may delegate the responsibility to others. Regardless, the Product Owner remains accountable.

The question is unchanged, though the feedback is revised as you see below:

When can the Product Backlog be updated?

(choose the best answer)

A) Only after a Sprint Review if agreed to by the stakeholders.
B) Only during Product Backlog refinement sessions if the Product Owner is present.
C) Never, unless agreed to by the change request.
D) At any time when done by the Product Owner or a delegate.

The Product Backlog is dynamic; it constantly changes to identify what the product needs in order to be appropriate, competitive, and useful. Product Backlog items can be updated at any time by the Product Owner or a delegate. Even if the responsibility is delegated the Product Owner remains accountable for the Product Backlog.


07:16 pm February 10, 2021

Thank you for the quick responses and resolution.

By posting on our forums you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.

Please note that the first and last name from your member profile will be displayed next to any topic or comment you post on the forums. For privacy concerns, we cannot allow you to post email addresses. All user-submitted content on our Forums may be subject to deletion if it is found to be in violation of our Terms of Use. does not endorse user-submitted content or the content of links to any third-party websites.

Terms of Use may, at its discretion, remove any post that it deems unsuitable for these forums. Unsuitable post content includes, but is not limited to, Professional-level assessment questions and answers, profanity, insults, racism or sexually explicit content. Using our forum as a platform for the marketing and solicitation of products or services is also prohibited. Forum members who post content deemed unsuitable by may have their access revoked at any time, without warning. may, but is not obliged to, monitor submissions.