In DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery), who is responsible when for moving work items from the release backlog to the iteration/sprint backlog?

I'd say that this is done by the scrum master during the iteration/sprint planning meeting. Is that right or should this be done by the overall project manager beforehand so that the iteration/sprint planning meeting is "just" used to reach a consensus about the iteration/sprint plan?

2 Answers 2


This is responsobility of Product Owner and Development Team.

Product Owner:

In article Roles in Disciplined Agile Delivery is written following:

Product Owner. In a system with hundreds or thousands of requirements it is often difficult to get answers to questions regarding the requirements. The product owner is the one individual on the team who speaks as the “one voice of the customer”. He or she represents the needs and desires of the stakeholder community to the agile delivery team. As such, he or she clarifies any details regarding the solution and is also responsible for maintaining a prioritized list of work items that the team will implement to deliver the solution.

The key word is "prioritized". Team should take in iteration/Sprint only most prior items. And all decision about prioritization is Product Owner's responsibility.

But priority based not only by business value. In Scrum Guide is written follow:

The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product and the work of the Development Team.

For example: there are two stories with highest priority, A and B. Forecasted capacity for next sprint is enough only for one of them. Story A have 0.9 abstract business value point, Story B have 1.0 abstract business value point. But there is a dependency between A and B stories, and if Team will implement A first, time for B implementation will reduce twice. In that case Product Owner can make A more prior than B, to maximizing the value work of the Development Team.

That one of the reasons, why Product Owner should present on iteration/Sprint planning: datailed of story implementation may affect his decisions about prioritization.

Development Team:

In the other side, forecast of next Iteration/Sprint capability is Development Team's responsibility. It mean that Product Owner can't force Development Team take more tasks than they decide to take themselves.


Iteration/Sprint Planning is always compromise between what Product Owner wants and what Development Team really may do in this time period.

This is another quote (Scrum and XP from the Trenches) that sums up all that is written above:

The reason why the whole team and the product owner have to be at the sprint planning meeting is because each story contains three variables that are highly dependent on each other: Scope, Estimate, Importance.

Scope and importance are set by the product owner. Estimate is set by the team. During a sprint planning meeting, these three variables are finetuned continuously through face-to-face dialog between the team and the product owner.

  • OK. So the product owner is responsible for moving the work items from the release backlog to the sprint/iteration backlog. And this "move" is done during the sprint/iteration planning meeting, right?
    – Stephan
    May 5, 2015 at 12:17
  • 1
    Almost. The product owner will "challenge" the team to move them during sprint planning, but it's up to the whole team to actually pull them in. The team must have consensus.
    – MattDuFeu
    May 5, 2015 at 12:52
  • @Stephan Not exactly. "Moving tasks" is consensus between the Product Owner and Developer Team. PO decide which tasks he want to be implemented during current Sprint, and DT estimate which of these tasks can be really implemented. May 5, 2015 at 12:55
  • @Stephan In other words, PO can't put in Sprint more tasks than DT wants and DT can't put in Sprint tasks not in order of its prioritization. May 5, 2015 at 13:01
  • @SPDuFeu Good remark, thanks. I will correct my answer for clarity. May 5, 2015 at 13:06

Logically, it should be done by the scrum-master.

But I would prefer involving the whole team and at times seek input from the product owner/project stake-holder to add/finalize items for the sprint.

  • Why do you think that it is logical? At first, there is no Scrum-Master role in DAD. If we talk about Team-Lead (Scrum-Master's analog in DAD) than he "is the agile coach, responsible for facilitating communication, optimizing processes, and ensuring the team has the resources it needs and is free of obstacles". He (as well as the Scrum Master) is responsible for setting up a development process, but he may not participate in it, if he is not a member of a Development Team. So, why do you think that task selection from Release/Product Backlog for current Sprint is his responsibility? May 5, 2015 at 16:00
  • @Depressive_Bore Right, in DAD the Team-Lead (aka Scrum Master) is not responsible for this.
    – Stephan
    May 6, 2015 at 5:36

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