A Product Owner should know when to challenge Stakeholders

Stakeholders often don’t have time to write clear Epics or associated Acceptance Criteria so it can fall to the Product Owner to challenge any incomplete material to ensure accurate decomposition into User Stories.

It is common for Stakeholders to write vague or incomplete descriptions of desired outcomes which eventually end up as Epic text in JIRA. The Product Owner should not take Stakeholders’ Epics as being complete until they make complete sense and have Acceptance Criteria.

It is useful for the Product Owner to help Stakeholders complete their Epics, how they relate to the overall vision, and how they break down into User Stories.

It is also useful, once elaborated and clarified, for the Product Owner to replay the Epic, Acceptance Criteria and the headline User Stories back to the relevant Stakeholder(s) if not to gain sign-off, then at least to gain consensus and agreement.

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