Product Owner is OOO , What’s next?

Kiran Kumar
3 min readMay 29


When a Product Owner is unavailable, who is the best person to act as his proxy?

1)Scrum Master

2)Senior Developer


4)It is against the Scrum Rules to have a proxy for Product Owner


Product Owner is always one individual and no proxies are allowed in Scrum

While it is understandable that people may need to take leave for various personal or professional reasons, the absence of a Product Owner can present challenges within the Scrum framework. Here are a few reasons why the absence of a Product Owner can be problematic:

1. Decision-Making: The Product Owner is responsible for making critical decisions regarding the product, prioritizing the backlog, and providing guidance to the development team. Their absence can lead to delays in decision-making, which can impact the team’s ability to move forward effectively.

2. Collaboration and Clarity: The Product Owner collaborates closely with the development team to clarify requirements, provide feedback, and ensure the product’s alignment with stakeholder expectations. When the Product Owner is unavailable, it can result in a lack of clarity, misunderstandings, and an increased risk of delivering a product that does not meet customer needs.

3. Stakeholder Engagement: The Product Owner is the primary point of contact for stakeholders, gathering their input, and ensuring their needs are considered in the product’s development. When the Product Owner is on leave, it can hinder effective communication with stakeholders, leading to potential misalignment and missed opportunities for valuable feedback.

4. Sprint Planning and Backlog Refinement: Sprint Planning and backlog refinement sessions require the active participation of the Product Owner to ensure a shared understanding of priorities and requirements. Without the Product Owner’s involvement, these activities may be challenging to conduct efficiently and may result in unclear objectives for the development team.

While it is not always possible to prevent a Product Owner from going on leave, it is important to have contingency plans in place. Designating a proxy, as discussed earlier, or ensuring that the Product Owner delegates responsibilities and provides necessary guidance before their absence can help mitigate the impact. Open and transparent communication with the team and stakeholders is crucial to manage expectations and ensure the smooth functioning of the Scrum process during the Product Owner’s absence.



Kiran Kumar

Technophile with 10 years experience in IT industry | Java Lead cum Architect