I have been working for many years in many software companies and I could realized that most of them had the same issue with the Product Owners, I will list a few of them.
· Providing not much more than a high level, ordered Backlog and availability to the team for questions or clarification was extremely limited.
· User Stories were developed, but were inconsistent and refined too late—often in the middle of the Sprint.
· Backlog grooming (maintenance) was inconsistently practiced, if practiced at all.
· The Backlogs themselves were inconsistent across teams—making organizational strategic planning and overall progress measurement very difficult.
· Forward-looking release planning was nearly avoided.
· Little time was spent ‘connecting’ external stakeholders to the performance, efforts, and dynamics of their teams.
Is all of the above points seems familiar in your organization?. I will give some tips for improving that issues so we can deliver a high product in schedule and budged.
I think one of the more appreciated value that PO should has is the commitment with the team itself, I know that many times PO has a lot of limited time since they have all day meetings, but when the team needs him, he always should be available to respond to it. One good practice I found for that approach was to set daily meetings that we called collaboration meetings, in that slot of time we use to take all possible advantage from our PO, like grooming the US, clarifying the acceptance criteria, demo the feature progress (Dev & QA) so in that way we receive the necessary feedback in time, so we don´t need to wait at the sprint review every end of the sprint. If this is not possible for time availability reason, we can set a different time for a couple of minutes with the PO for at least demoing and review the team´s progress, for all the rest we can send him the questions or clarifications requirement through email or im. If this really is not possible we should escalate the problem with the PO´s chief.
So the key for having a good communication and collaboration is to have our PO committed with the team, as everyone knows that at final release all team (Scrum Master, Product Owner and team members) is in play, everyone wins or everyone lose.
Hope this can help a little in your current organization.