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Scrum: Should the Product Owner be in the Daily Scrum meeting ?

This is a difficult question. Most articles that I have read and the Scrum Masters that I have talked to are not in a doubt about one matter – the Daily Scrum meeting is a meeting where the Scrum team members (not the Product Owner) get together on a daily basis to provide an update to each other about the work that they have accomplished since the previous such meeting, the work that they intend to get done in the next such meeting, as well as any impediments that are blocking them. The idea of the Daily Scrum meeting is to talk to each other so that they are updated with details of each other’s work, which is important for work that is typically happening on the same feature or a given set of features. This update is especially important because there are a lot of dependencies between each other, such as a member of the QE team waiting for a task to be completed by the developer so that it can then come to the QE team members for testing, and there might be other dependencies between the developers as well.
Now these tasks are done on the basis of a listing of the tasks for the Product Backlog for the Sprint, as provided by the Product Owner. So, it would make sense for the Product Owner to attend the Daily Scrum meeting to view the status of these tasks and see whether things are going right or wrong, and also be ready to make corrections if the Product Owner seems that something is going wrong. However, this is a basic assumption that is wrong – it assumes that the Product Owner owns the work and the team. The Product Owner does own the final product and the tasks included in the Backlog, but the schedule for getting them done, and the inbetween milestones during the process of executing the task are owner by the Scrum team and not the Product Owner. If the Product Owner tries to influence or otherwise control the team, it can break up the entire process of the team and destroy the concept of the empowered team that is a vital part of Scrum.
So what is the recommendation ? There is no need for the Product Owner to be attending the Daily Scrum meeting, there are no real inputs desired from the Product Owner in the meeting. If there are some impediments that need to be resolved by the Product Owner such as some clarifications, those are not supposed to be handled in the Daily Scrum meeting but identified as an impediment which can be taken up once the Daily Scrum meeting is done. On the other hand, if the Product Owner does want to come to the meeting on a regular basis, one of the primary conditions would be that the Product Owner does not try to interrupt or comment or make any other point during the Daily Scrum meeting, and if there is any feedback, it should be taken up after the Daily Scrum meeting rather than during it.

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