What is the Santa Claus rule in Product Ownership?


The Santa Claus rule is a fun, yet important concept in Scrum, with a straightforward principle: for one product, there is only one Product Owner and one product backlog. Much like there’s only one Santa Claus who must be everywhere, doing all the work, our single Product Owner also has a substantial workload to manage.

However, Santa Claus has his team of elves to help him out, and similarly, a Product Owner can enlist help as required in Scrum. Whether it’s to analyse data, find solutions to problems, or even do some basic chores, these helpers can take on various responsibilities to lighten the load for the Product Owner.

But remember, while these helpers can be responsible for tasks, accountability remains with the Product Owner. That’s the essence of the Santa Claus rule – it allows for delegation of tasks while ensuring clear ownership and accountability. So, think of your team as Santa’s elves, ready to lend a hand, while you, as the Product Owner, ensure the overall vision and accountability for the product.

About Effective Agile

Ralph Jocham is a Change Agent in Scrum // Agile // Coaching // Evidence Based Management and also a Professional Scrum Trainer based in Europe.

As one of the first Professional Scrum Trainers in the world, Ralph has worked directly with cocreator of #scrum, Ken Schwaber, and has played an integral part in the course development of the #PSPO (Professional Scrum Product Owner) as well as the delivery of all #scrum.org certified courses.

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