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Scrum Master suggestion to PO

Last post 10:29 pm April 16, 2015 by Nikhil Sinha
7 replies
12:29 pm April 15, 2015


I came around a question and have nailed down to 2 possible answers and now I am confused which is the correct one.

Question: The project is in its 7th sprint of the total 9 sprints. PO told the team that the company has changed its direction as per market situation. What should be the scrum master's suggestion to the PO.

1. Update the PBI, Prioritize the item to be picked in next sprint.
My thinking: Since PBI is an ever changing artifact, it should be updated as per new requirement. So this can be suggested to the PO.

2. Cancel the sprint. Use the time to re-plan the work. create a new PBI.
My thinking: Since the current sprint is obsolete and it does not make any sense continuing it, it can be cancelled.

Can you please suggest which is the better answer. Also can you please suggest me if creating new PBI is expected in SCRUM.

Nikhil Sinha

04:17 am April 16, 2015

The PO has the authority to cancel the sprint. The only sensible reason to do so is that Sprint Goal is unattainable, irrelevant or has not enough value in terms of TCO or ROI.

The question is ambiguous about the market/company change. Did it render the Sprint Goal worthless or does it requires just a change in priorities?

If the SM thinks the Sprint Goal has lost it potential value, he can suggest canceling the sprint. I think the author of the question had this in mind.

06:52 am April 16, 2015

> "PO told the team that the company has changed its direction as per market situation"

An agile organization should continually inspect and adapt its products and processes to better fit the environment. These changes do not necessarily mean that products are retired and that in-Sprint work must be abandoned. A product can be expected to retain most of its residual value in most conditions of change. A well-managed Product Backlog will therefore allow the scope of a product to flex in accordance with these changing conditions and priorities.

12:29 pm April 16, 2015

Thanks Christiaan and Ian.

Can you please help me understand when and in which scenario new PBI is created.

Nikhil Sinha

01:35 pm April 16, 2015

A new Product Backlog Item is created when a feature / function / bug fix / requirement is added to the Product Backlog by the Product Owner.

Anyone can suggest a product improvement. The PO decides to accept or reject the proposal to be included in the Product Backlog and manage the priority.

02:53 pm April 16, 2015

Hi Christiaan,

My apologies, I think I didnot frame the question properly. I wanted to know if there can be more than 1 Product Backlog to choose sprint backlog items from it. Or there has to be only 1 Product Backlog with all the PBI from which sprint backlog is created.

Why I am asking this question is to understand if the company tomorrow decides to completely stop using the current version of product and want a complete re-design.
I think in this scenario using the current Product Backlog and all the items in it is obsolete.
Would in this scenario it is advisable to create a brand new Product Backlog and start updating it with new PBIs.

03:27 pm April 16, 2015

A product must be represented by exactly one Product Backlog, no matter how large any revisions in scope may be. The Product Backlog may not be retired unless and until the product itself is retired.

10:29 pm April 16, 2015

Thanks Ian

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