How should the Scrum Team proceed if the PO is sick and can't attend the Sprint Planning meeting?



  • What should we do if the PO is unable to attend the Sprint Planning meeting? Is there a workaround for it?



  • The team goes on with the sprint planning without the PO.

    During Sprint Planning, the team assesses what can be accomplish during that Sprint. You select items from the top of the backlog and you work on those. Sure, the sprint goal might be a little bit fuzzy, the PO might not be there to answer questions for the best understanding of what's needed, and the team might have to extrapolate some things, but if you have a proper Scrum team you can work without the PO until they get better.

    When I say a proper Scrum team, I mainly refer to two things:

    • the team is self-organized, so everyone understands what's needed and how they can build it
    • you properly did the refinement activity, so you don't have a big surprise at the sprint planning.

    If you can check these two items then it means that the product backlog is properly prioritized, the backlog items were discussed, properly sized, estimated, there is acceptance criteria for them, etc. You don't have the PO in the sprint planning to help but you basically know what's coming your way.

    Maybe you can ask someone with whom the PO works closely for business advice, if such a person exists. If the PO is available by email or phone, you might try to contact them. But given what I mentioned, the team should be able to work without the PO for a while.



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