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Who is responsible for release decision- PO or Scrum Team?

Last post 06:20 pm March 8, 2022 by Tom Kaminski
6 replies
05:58 am April 29, 2021

Hi there,

A doubt:

The Scrum Guide 2020 says- ''The Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities from stakeholder collaboration, verification, maintenance, operation, experimentation, research and development, and anything else that might be required.''

Does this mean that the release decision is also taken by the Scrum Team?

I would have thought the PO would be better placed to take this decision.

Please guide.



06:07 am April 29, 2021

Another doubt: The Scrum Guide says:

''Sprint Planning initiates the Sprint by laying out the work to be performed for the Sprint. This resulting plan is created by the collaborative work of the entire Scrum Team.''

''...whole Scrum Team then collaborates to define a Sprint Goal''

and later in the guide it says:

''The Sprint Backlog is composed of the Sprint Goal (why), the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint (what), as well as an actionable plan for delivering the Increment (how).

The Sprint Backlog is a plan by and for the Developers.''

Plan and Goal is decided/defined by Scrum team. These are 2/3 parts of the Sprint Backlog.

Why do we say that the Sprint Backlog is plan by and for the developers?


11:48 am May 20, 2021

Denish, Scrum guide states that:

The fundamental unit of Scrum is a small team of people, a Scrum Team. The Scrum Team consists of
one Scrum Master, one Product Owner, and Developers. It is a cohesive unit of professionals focused on one objective at a time, the Product Goal.

PO is a member of a team


05:02 am May 22, 2021

Does this mean that the release decision is also taken by the Scrum Team?

If the work is Done, perhaps the decision is whether it should not be released. Who knows of a good reason to stop it?

These are 2/3 parts of the Sprint Backlog.

Why do we say that the Sprint Backlog is plan by and for the developers?

Because, although their plan is arrived at collaboratively, the Developers will be accountable for providing the Done work. 

06:36 pm February 24, 2022


The Scrum Guide 2017 said, "The increment must be in useable condition regardless of whether the Product Owner decides to release it." 

With Scrum Guide 2020, does the PO still have the decision of when is a good time to release?

Thank you

10:28 pm February 24, 2022

@Teymur, there were a lot of discussions leading to that change in the 2020 guide and reality is that there may be factors beyond the Product Owner or Scrum Teams abilities that come into play. For example in banking there could be regulatory factors.  So hopefully it is a collaborative decision and the PO should be involved and there may be things beyond their control.

08:07 pm March 7, 2022

I'll argue that the ideas of work being completed and the work being released are 2 different things.  As Eric alludes to, there are many reasons why even though the work has been completed, it will not get released.  My terminology may not be correct but there are 2 distinct concepts:

  • Completed (Done?) = the team has produced the increment, it works, and there is nothing more for the team to do with it.
  • Released = the increment has been put into the hands of customers.

The Scrum team may have no involvement in the decision to release the increment.

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