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Criteria for choosing ScrumMaster and Product Owner

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  • brian_bofu
    When you start with a new team, they have various skills and level of experience, different personalities and traits, used to play different roles (BA, tester,
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 29, 2010
      When you start with a new team, they have various skills and level of experience, different personalities and traits, used to play different roles (BA, tester, etc), 1 or 2 people are natural leaders and others used to follow. They have same level of knowledge and eagerness of Scrum, what approach or criteria you'll use to fill in the role for ScrumMaster and Product Owner?

      My approach is, find the most potential people to fill in PO or ScrumMaster and then help them build the competence.

      I had let people who has domain knowledge, good communication, co-ordination skills, etc to try Product Owner. While for ScrumMaster, my first thought would be let the natural leader try ScrumMaster. In general it works fine, except that some people still used to follow the ScrumMaster instead of actively participanting in decision making and be accountable.

      Any thoughts about this?
    • Michael James
      I would suggest the ScrumMaster is there to create space for natural leadership to emerge on the team, not so much to lead the team in the conventional sense.
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 29, 2010
        I would suggest the ScrumMaster is there to create space for natural leadership to emerge on the team, not so much to lead the team in the conventional sense.

        --mj

        On Sep 29, 2010, at 9:55 PM, brian_bofu wrote:

        > When you start with a new team, they have various skills and level of experience, different personalities and traits, used to play different roles (BA, tester, etc), 1 or 2 people are natural leaders and others used to follow. They have same level of knowledge and eagerness of Scrum, what approach or criteria you'll use to fill in the role for ScrumMaster and Product Owner?
        >
        > My approach is, find the most potential people to fill in PO or ScrumMaster and then help them build the competence.
        >
        > I had let people who has domain knowledge, good communication, co-ordination skills, etc to try Product Owner. While for ScrumMaster, my first thought would be let the natural leader try ScrumMaster. In general it works fine, except that some people still used to follow the ScrumMaster instead of actively participanting in decision making and be accountable.
        >
        > Any thoughts about this?
        >
        >
      • Alan Dayley
        Great questions, Brian. I offer three posts from my blog in answer to this and your previous question about the need for a Product Owner.
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 29, 2010
          Great questions, Brian.

          I offer three posts from my blog in answer to this and your previous question about the need for a Product Owner.




          The developers are self-organizing.  They don't follow the Product Owner or the Scrum Master.

          - The Product Owner focuses on the product, making sure the right thing is developed.
          - The Scrum Master focuses on productivity, making sure the team is working as smoothly as possible.
          - The Team focuses on creating, making sure the product is created with quality and craftsmanship.
          - The Scrum Team, including all three of these roles, are all peers to each other.  Each member of the team leads at different times and in different contexts.

          A special note for the Scrum Master: Silence is a powerful tool.  The Scrum Master should not jump in and fill the space, be it a question of design, planning or direction.  Create the space to let the Product Owner and Team members to step up, fill the space and take ownership.

          Alan

          On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 7:55 PM, brian_bofu <brian.fu@...> wrote:
           

          When you start with a new team, they have various skills and level of experience, different personalities and traits, used to play different roles (BA, tester, etc), 1 or 2 people are natural leaders and others used to follow. They have same level of knowledge and eagerness of Scrum, what approach or criteria you'll use to fill in the role for ScrumMaster and Product Owner?

          My approach is, find the most potential people to fill in PO or ScrumMaster and then help them build the competence.

          I had let people who has domain knowledge, good communication, co-ordination skills, etc to try Product Owner. While for ScrumMaster, my first thought would be let the natural leader try ScrumMaster. In general it works fine, except that some people still used to follow the ScrumMaster instead of actively participanting in decision making and be accountable.

          Any thoughts about this?


        • Don MacIntyre
          ... I like Alan s observation about silence. But I d also add that there are times when a ScrumMaster can recognize that the team is not communicating well.
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 30, 2010
            --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Alan Dayley <alandd@...> wrote:
            > A special note for the Scrum Master: Silence is a powerful tool. The Scrum
            > Master should not jump in and fill the space, be it a question of design,
            > planning or direction. Create the space to let the Product Owner and Team
            > members to step up, fill the space and take ownership.
            >
            > Alan

            I like Alan's observation about silence.

            But I'd also add that there are times when a ScrumMaster can recognize that the team is not communicating well. When this is the case, ScrumMasters can help foster communication by asking leading questions.

            Regarding Product Owners, I also consider estimated availability. A missing PO is not a good PO. I've run into this numerous times over the years.

            -don
            http://www.scrumalliance.org/profiles/26043-don-macintyre
          • banshee858
            ... For a PO, I think it is important to have someone in the role who is respected by the business and knows how to build relationships with other
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 1, 2010
              >
              > I had let people who has domain knowledge, good communication, co-ordination skills,
              > etc to try Product Owner. While for ScrumMaster, my first thought would be let the
              > natural leader try ScrumMaster. In general it works fine, except that some people still
              > used to follow the ScrumMaster instead of actively participanting in decision making and
              > be accountable.
              >
              For a PO, I think it is important to have someone in the role who is respected by the business and knows how to build relationships with other stakeholders. So much of a PO's job is to find the stakeholders, understand their needs and set expectations. They should have some knowledge of the product\business and be willing to learn more.

              An SM needs maturity and a calm demeanor. Like the PO, the SM also has to build relationships with the stakeholders, but they are trying to understand the nature of the organizational impediments and figure out how to remove them (or minimize them). They have to really "get" Scrum and believe the answer is (always) with the Team. Sorry I cannot be more precise than that, but thankfully you can train most people on what Scrum is about and they can help facilitate self-organization.

              A word of caution about filling the SM role - don't put technical people, like tech lead, in this role. They HATE it!

              Carlton
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