We have a Super Product Owner, who cannot possibly be involved in writing or refining every story - they simply set the overall priority on the board.
We have Subject Matter Experts, whose day job is to be involved with work completely unrelated to our team and, mostly, unrelated to the technology we are building. They have knowledge which can be used to drive individual stories but otherwise have a light touch.
We have Business Analysts who are few and far between and, due to pressures outside of our team, cannot be as dedicated to our team to be ideal.
We also have the DevOps team.
From the left, our scrum board currently includes the following columns:
[New] For drafting stories (added to by the SPO, BAs and SMEs) [Backlog] For refining and 3-Amigo'ing stories [To Do] As usual (the board is normal from here...)
The problem is that we do not have a definitive Product Owner; The SMEs will either write the stories or provide input from the business to a story. The SPO might right a story. However, neither of those has the time or the knowledge (and certain not the business priority) to be the product owner for any given story.
What this means, is that a story will get to a certain level of detail and moved from the [New] column into the [Backlog] column. We, as the DevOps team, are then expected to take ownership of each and every story, push for the 3 Amigos and do the legwork to find out who is requesting the work, etc.
One acceptance made is that the author of the story is putting their name on it (something which, believe it or not, Service Now doesn't enforce) and so we have someone to go to (often, not always) to question. If not, we go to the Super Product Owner.
Direct question for SO: How can this be improved and is it acceptable to 'Agile' in general? Is there a particular element which could be tweaked, given the constraints outlined above, which would allow us to name a definite PO more often?
Less direct question: Have you ever worked in this sort of setup and how did you handle it? Is there a way to make it work when the 'PO' is a disparate group, rather than any single person?