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Input Product owner and team as % of development time

Last post 09:45 am May 6, 2016 by Ian Mitchell
7 replies
06:13 am April 26, 2016


A while ago I was reading about some general rule of thumbs for Scrum and found one that said something about the amount of time a Product owner and his team would have to allocate as a percentage of the time spent by the developers.
Unfortunately I didn't remember what the percentage was and I can't find the article anymore.
Has anyone heard about such a number or maybe someone can give me an estimate based on personal experience?
Thanks in advance,

Greetings Martin

11:13 am April 26, 2016

Martin, what does the Scrum Guide say about the % of time a Product Owner and Scrum Team should spend on refining Product Backlog items?

I am assuming your inquiry is about time spent around grooming, since you don't specify that activity in your question.

Also, you refer to the Product Owner and his team, and I am assuming by "team" you are referring to the Development Team.

11:20 am April 26, 2016


Depending on the context, this percentage will evolve... If the team just hired new developers, the PO should spend more time with them for example.

If the PO feels he is spending too much time with developers, he should tell them during the retrospective. And try to find solutions during this event (increase clarity of items in backlog during the Sprint Planning meeting for example).

04:33 am April 27, 2016

The mandatory time a PO needs to spend with the development team can be determined by adding up the times for Scrum-meetings the PO needs to take part (however, these meetings are timeboxed and could take less time).

I do not know of a general rule of thumb a PO needs to spend with the team on top of that mandatory meeting time (and I doubt that such a rule makes sense). It heavily depends on the project, the maturity of the development team, the maturity of the Scrum process, etc.

06:51 am April 28, 2016

If it is just about the Refinement then it should not be more than 10% of the time.

A PO should be available for answering queries related to requirements, business value etc. In case of non-availability of PO, Dev Team can take the decision to best of their knowledge.

07:23 pm May 4, 2016

Those using grooming, just search google with the term "grooming" to see why grooming was changed to "refinement." It's a good change :).

The Scrum guide establishes no rule or timebox for refinement. All it says is that, "Refinement usually consumes no more than 10% of the capacity of the Development Team. However, Product Backlog items can be updated at any time by the Product Owner or at the Product Owner’s discretion." -

Do what you need to in order to make good release decisions and productive Sprint Planning events. Consider that refinement changes over time as the product is better understood or as the market changes.

Does that help?

06:42 am May 5, 2016

What evidence could you observe if the PO doesn't work enough time with the Dev Team ?

What evidence could you observe if the PO does work enough time with the Dev Team ?

09:45 am May 6, 2016

> Unfortunately I didn't remember what the percentage was and I can't find the article anymore.

In all seriousness, perhaps that is just as well. Wouldn't it be better to empirically determine the "right" amount of time through a self-organizing team, rather than by seeking a dubious rule of thumb that has fallen into decay?

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