In an Agile/Scrum development environment, where the "products" of a team are only consumed internally (think infrastructure, CI/CD tooling, automated testing), should POs exist even though the team's output is only directly consumed by other corporate dev teams?

The client in question is a large enterprise, with an internal-facing team of about 20-30 developers. Each scrum team (4-5 engineers) has a P.O., with three managers spread across the team, an overall director, and finally a PM responsible for the whole large group. All involved are competent, capable and good communicators, it's not a question of having hired or promoted well, but the setup seems top-heavy to me (and expensive).

Is such an arrangement common or recommended?


I don't see why you shouldn't. Especially if your organisation is large enough to support up to 30 developers dedicated providing development support infrastructure and tools - I'm hoping that you probably have at least 10x that many other developers consuming these tools.

The role of the product owner for an internal product is no different than for an external one - garner requirements; prioritise the backlog; provide the communications bridge between the development team and the end user - you can't get all 300+ developer-consumers into the one room for meetings and standups; you get the product owner.

While our organisation is much smaller (30 staff total - 4 developers and about 20 content research/editors) - we still have product owners for our internal products (business reporting and integration systems), as well as our external ones.

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