Magdalena Jackiewicz
Editorial Expert
Magdalena Jackiewicz
Reviewed by a tech expert
Łukasz Szramko
Delivery Leader

Should Product Owners attend daily Scrum meetings? Considering pros and cons

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Product Owners (POs) play a critical role in Agile software projects, serving as the bridge between stakeholders and the development team. They have a lot of responsibilities: prioritizing the product backlog, clarifying requirements, and ensuring the team is working on what brings value in subsequent Sprints.

The Scrum Product Owner role stipulates their participation is critical in a number of ceremonies, and is often considered valuable in case of the daily standups. However, in this article, we’d like to draw your attention to the fact that this has both pros and cons.

There is a common belief that the client should be kept as close to the project as possible and stay informed about the tiniest details. We aren’t against this approach, but, since we have noticed that the PO’s participation in the daily standup may in some cases negatively impact the work of the development team, we deem it important to explain what are the potential risks of this involvement.

Let’s clarify the fundamentals first.

Who is required to attend the daily Scrum?

According to Scrum Alliance, the daily standup is first and foremost dedicated to the development team, so that they could:

  • inspect work progress towards the Sprint goal (in accordance with Scrum Inspection pillar),
  • identify issues that must be solved to progress with the project and subsequently adapt the Sprint backlog (in accordance with Scrum Adaptation Pillar),
  • discuss problems they encounter or seek advice from peers (from senior developers in particular).

As such, this meeting is particularly important in remote and hybrid work environments, which are increasingly commonplace, especially in the software development industry. With colocated teams, team members could easily stay up-to-date on what everyone else was doing. With remote teams, Scrum daily standup meetings fill this crucial role.

The Product Owner sets the direction, the goal and the scope of each Sprint. He/She is required to contribute to planning and refinement meetings which focus on discussing the upcoming work and make adjustment plans as necessary. Having said that – their participation in Scrum daily standup may or may not be valuable.

When must the Product Owner participate in daily Scrum meetings?

It depends - there is no clear-cut answer to this question, as their participation has both advantages and disadvantages (we’re discussing them in detail in the following sections).

By default, the role of Product Owner in Scrum doesn’t mandate his involvement in the daily standups. Sometimes their participation may add value and in other cases it won’t.

A lot depends on the Product Owner himself, their experience and approach to teamwork, the stage of the product development process and how well the team members are coordinated.

Let’s examine the advantages first.

The pros of Product Owner’s involvement in daily Scrum meeting

As long as the entire team is well coordinated and the Product Owner understand the Agile self-organization purpose, their involvement in the daily Scrum meeting can unlock the following benefits:


In principle, the development team should come to the planning stage with a full understanding of the scope of the project. This means that, when progressing to coding, developers should already have clarity of the project objectives as well as the Sprint Goal.

However, if questions or issues arise, the presence of the Product Owner at the daily Scrum meeting may be essential to clarify any disputable items or make decisions fast. Product Owners can provide clarity on product backlog items and their priority, guiding the team to align their work with the overarching product strategy. As such, their presence at Scrum daily standup can increase this clarity as well as the overall efficiency of the development team.

Faster and better decision-making

Just like the POs participation in the Scrum daily standup can contribute to greater clarity, they can contribute to faster decision-making, should that be necessary. This works both ways: having the Product Owner at the daily meeting may result in faster decision-making, and the insights that the PO gathers during the daily meeting may help them make better, more informed decisions with regards to the product.

Of course, decisions on outstanding issues can be sought outside the Scrum daily standup. Bear in mind, however, that, in such a case, this may require organizing another meeting and thus the decision-making process may take more time, slowing down the project progress.

Better stakeholder alignment

From the Product Owner’s perspective, participation in Scrum daily standup can help them understand the challenges the team faces, which in turn can enhance the overall planning and better support for the development team. It also helps them to understand the product inside out, which is a big advantage when it comes to managing stakeholders and keeping things transparent for them.

Moreover, having the Product Owner present in the daily Scrum meeting fosters a deeper understanding of the project's vision and goals. It is yet another way for them to fulfill their mission as the bridge between stakeholders and the development team: he has firsthand knowledge on both sides and he is the best source of truth when it comes to imparting information between the two groups.

Enhanced communication and collaboration

Finally, regular participation of the Product Owner in daily meetings can result in a stronger, more collaborative relationship of the entire team. The more time they spend together, the stronger bonds they can develop. When physically present with the team, the PO can actively engage with them, engage in an open dialogue and encourage them to brainstorm new ideas and solutions.

The cons of Product Owner’s involvement in daily Scrum meeting

While the Product Owner's participation in Scrum daily standup can bring value, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the cons associated with their involvement in the daily Scrum meeting:

Purpose shift

The daily Scrum meeting is supposed to be a short, timeboxed meetup of 15 minutes, oriented at aligning the team with regards to their progress, any obstacles they're facing and planned tasks for the day. The primary focus here is on the team's self-organization.

However, the Product Owner's presence could unintentionally shift the focus of these meetings to strategic or long-term planning discussions, which isn't the purpose of Scrum daily standup. It may become a reporting meeting, rather than aligning the team, solving problems and brainstorming solutions.

If the Product Owner becomes too involved in the meeting, it may also become longer than assumed. As a consequence, some team members who passively listen to the discussions going on end up losing their time. In that case, the PO’s time isn’t used as it’s supposed to be either.

Loss of transparency

Agile methodologies value transparency at its core – it's essential for the team’s productivity and collaboration. The Scrum daily standup meeting gives all the members an opportunity to discuss the work progress and challenges, promoting this transparency and open communication. However, when the Product Owner is present during the daily Scrum, it’s possible that team members might feel less comfortable sharing their thoughts openly, especially when they encounter obstacles or issues.

Since the Product Owner represents the customer, the development team may be reluctant to ask questions or propose new solutions out of anxiety that they may look unprofessional or lack sufficient knowledge to address specific issues. This is pertinent especially in situations where the team members are only getting to know each other, learn each others’ preferred work styles and are still working on establishing mutual trust (at the outset of a project, especially).

A Product Owner’s presence may thus hamper the overall transparency throughout the project lifecycle.


One of the principles in Agile methodologies is self-organization. Since the Product Owner is the leading decision maker in the development process, their participation in the meeting (which is dedicated primarily to the development team) may limit this principle, especially if they become too involved. The team might feel their opinions are less valued or that there's no room for discussion, especially regarding technical issues, which should be agreed upon by the developers.

The Product Owner should be aware of this risk and remain mindful of their influence on the team dynamics. If he/she  decides to take part in the Scrum daily standup, he should actively encourage everyone’s participation so that everyone’s ideas could be heard and taken into consideration.

Focus on micro issues

The POs participation in the daily Scrum meeting carries a risk that they may start going into details or making decisions on technical issues when these should be made by the development team (in accordance with the self-organization principle!). Likely, this will result in prolonging the meeting, which in principle shouldn’t last more than 15 minutes.

Should the Product Owner decide to participate in the daily Scrum meeting, they should be mindful of the underlying purpose of this meeting and find another platform to make his contribution to the work of the development team.

Reduced autonomy

In Agile, the development team should be self-sufficient and take full responsibility for their decisions. It’s up to them to make choices at the implementation and technological level. The Product Owner shouldn’t interfere in those processes – the team should feel they have full autonomy with regards to the code they produce.

If the PO becomes too involved in those processes, the risk is that they will start consulting the Product Owner regularly on these decisions. Such reduced autonomy may hamper the code quality as well as the timeline of the project. POs should be mindful of this fact and ensure the team has freedom when it comes to making implementation decisions.

Product Owner role in Scrum at RST

In our view, as long as the development process is organized well and project requirements and goals are communicated clearly, thoroughly inspected and adjusted during refinement meetings in accordance with Scrum principles, there is no need for the PO to partake in daily standup meetings.

When must the Product Owner participate in daily Scrum, in that case? Whenever they or the team deem it necessary, but only as long as they understand the risks stemming from their involvement in the meeting and take the necessary measures to minimize those risks.

In the end, it boils down to reaching a mutual agreement – we are open to discuss and accommodate your preferences. If you’re interested in working with us, please send us a short message via this contact form and we’ll arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements.

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