#24 – Decision-Maker
It is not necessarily an anti-pattern, per se, that the Product Owner needs to clarify or align with others in order to answer questions about prioritization; however, if he/she can never take any decisions without consulting people higher up in the hierarchy, the PO is probably not empowered sufficiently to properly fulfil the role.
An empowered PO is important because, if the he/she has the power to say no to stakeholders, push back to management or customers and prioritize and filter requests, it will enable the Scrum to make quick decisions move fast. Thus, the team will be able to take ownership of the product and feel responsible for doing an awesome job in order for the product to become a success.
If our POs are powerless, we as Agile Coaches and Scrum Masters must educate our stakeholders, management and organization in understanding why empowered POs are necessary to build an effective product management organization (for elaboration, look up Roman Pichler’s many interesting articles and books on agile product management).