How many Scrum teams should a Product Owner (CSPO) be working with at the same time? This #AskArtisan video addresses this subject, which is one that the #ScrumGuide is very clear on: ONE product for ONE Product Owner. So if your product is being built by 3, 4, 5 or more teams, that’s one Product Owner for all of those teams.
Now, if you’re a Product Owner, don’t get worried and don’t be confused about your role. You don’t need to do everything just because you’re the Product Owner, that’s not what Product Ownership is. The Product Owner doesn’t need to describe every Product Backlog Item, they should be setting Product Goals, helping the team set Sprint Goals, prioritizing the work, and focusing on stakeholder-customer relationships. Everything else can be done by someone else at your direction.
So you CAN be a Product Owner and have that many teams, it’s definitely doable, especially for an experienced Product Owner. You might want to stagger their Sprints a bit so that you’re not trying to be in too many places at once, and you will probably want to structure your time strategically so you can be with the developers on each team a little bit of every day or every other day to make sure that they’re building what you need them to build, and that when they’re done, the actually ARE done.
Beyond that, if you’re still pressed, you might want to start looking at a Scaling Framework, such as Scrum At Scale, Large Scale Scrum, or similar. Scaling frameworks are there to build on Scrum in a way that makes sense for creating scenarios where a Chief Product Owner owns the entire product, and Product Owners own individual elements of the product. But in most cases, you don’t need that – you just need to stop trying to do it all, and just be a Product Owner.
Be sure to check out more of our #AskArtisan video series!