Product Backlog VS Sprint Backlog - Who owns What?

February 23, 2022

Author: Daniel José da Silva

black board with success written on it

Along my career I have seem some confusion about Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog and who owns what.

If you follow the Scrum Guide that should be very simple.

Product Backlog: is owned by the Product Owner, it his/her responsibility to keep it organised and ordered by value.

Sprint Backlog: is owned by the Developers, it is their responsibility to keep it organised and representing the most recent state of the work.

So what is the confusion?

Some Product Owners think that they control the Sprint Backlog and start to add items to it causing confusion and disrupting what was agreed on the Sprint Planning. The Product Owner should never add items to the Sprint Backlog it belongs to the Developers.

There is no workaround on it, if an item have to be included in the Sprint Backlog the Developers must be consulted and they will decide if it will be added to the Sprint Backlog and it should be added only if it will not affect the Sprint Goal.

Product owner and developers divided by a wall


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