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Management are involved. They want to split the product into multiple streams but it's still one product. Management have introduced multiple Product Owners and given then a stream each.

The Scrum Masters are recommending 1 product = 1 owner = 1 backlog. Management disagree.

Everyone is pulling their hair out with dependencies, it's a mess.

Who should take action and what?

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  • I don't agree "1 product = 1 owner = 1 backlog" is a right definition. Amazon.com is a product; do you think it has 1 product owner and it is Jeff Bezos? Oct 21, 2022 at 1:58
  • I don't know how Amazon works do you? When the org gets too big the product is sometimes split into multiple products. We're not at that size yet. Oct 21, 2022 at 7:32
  • My point was, the scrum masters are wrong. The product backlog can be shared with multiple product owners. Oct 23, 2022 at 8:28

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Although the Scrum Guide does say that "the Product Owner is one person, not a committee", it doesn't say that there can't be a team supporting the Product Owner. There would be a single individual ultimately accountable for Product Backlog management, in some cases, such as a complex product or a product with a large number of stakeholders, nothing prevents the organization from having additional product managers to work with the Product Owner. In fact, the Scrum Guide even says that the "Product Owner may do" Product Backlog management "or may delegate the responsibility to others".

One problem, and the smallest of them, is calling everyone a Product Owner. Within the Scrum framework, a product has 1 Product Owner and 1 Product Backlog. It would be inconsistent to have multiple Product Owners. Perhaps these other people could have different role names to make it more clear what they are responsible for.

If you have a lot of cross-team dependencies after migrating into stream-aligned teams, you may need to evaluate your architecture. That could be your product architecture or your team architecture. Perhaps you need to introduce subsystem or platform teams to handle certain cross-cutting parts of your system. Perhaps the architecture of the product isn't segmented into clear boundaries. It's unclear, but there are likely ways to reduce the dependencies, either through organizational changes or product changes.

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    Yes correct. We've proposed changing the name of "the" product owner for example to something else which keeps everyone happy but even that is problematic for management. The key is that with one product, it's not that large, should have one owner and one backlog. Of course everyone should help out. When the org starts to scale it gets difficult to manage but the priority calls on what the vision is and what is next must be coming from one person or else there is chaos. Oct 20, 2022 at 14:33

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