Should developers have direct communication with stakeholders during Product Backlog Items implementation for their clarification. Or should all communication go through Product Owner?
On the Scrum Guide we can read the following:
On the one hand the Product Owner should:
The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes:
Clearly expressing Product Backlog items;
But on the other hand:
The Product Owner may do the above work, or have the Development Team do it. However, the Product Owner remains accountable.
So, theoretically the Development Team may communicate with stakeholders for the clarification of the PBI.
But is this a good practice? I always think, that the Product Owner is the single entry point for all requirements.
I see 4 options in this situation:
Developers may clarify PBIs with stakeholders during implementation. But in that case we have a risk, that the stakeholders view on this PBI may be different than the Product Owner's view (for example, the stakeholder may want to make the scope bigger or thay may have a different view on the aPBI even among themselves). The Product Owner may lose control of the PBIs scope.
Developers may clarify PBI's only with the Product Owner. This is the way I always work. But in one case I know of, the Product Owner physically doesn't have time enough to do all this work. What shall we do in this case?
Ask the developers to take more initiative and to resolve all issues at their sole discretion.
Force to define PBI very well before taking it in Sprint, and after it is taken, forbid the developers to ask any question about it (it's not a joke, it's the real situation. I read about it in this article. Unfortunately, it's only in Russian, so just believe me, that described situation is the real case).
So, how shall developers clarify PBI during its implementation? Maybe exist better solution, than described above?
Important note: I'm talking about PBIs, that are already in Sprint, and that need additional clarification during work.