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I am a new Scrum Master for an established Team. The Product Owner (PO) gets along very well with the Team, almost like buddies, and is an ex-developer.

The PO has started taking over my job of facilitating the Daily Scrum meetings.

Because I am quite new, I tend to be less vocal than I guess I should be.

Any ideas what I should do? Should I talk to the PO or what should I do?

  • 2
    Being an ex-developer, is there any direct-line relationship between the PO and team? For example, do any report up to the PO, get review feedback from the PO, etc.? I've found that these types of relationships between SM/PO and a team can drastically change their behavior in a standup and honesty about the format/usefulness. – Jeff Lindsey Sep 3 '15 at 21:10
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Neither PO nor Scrum Master is responsible, but the team is supposed to conduct daily standups. As a Scrum Master its your job to facilitate the team and make sure that process is being followed. Coach them to make the standups effective as opposed to having just mechanical updates during the daily ritual.

The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum. The Scrum Master teaches the Development Team to keep the Daily Scrum within the 15-minute time-box.

http://www.scrumguides.org/scrum-guide.html

Daily scrum is an important information radiator for the team. They have made a commitment to deliver agreed upon tasks during a time-boxed duration. Daily standup meetings help the team in tracking its progress with reference to their commitment. These meeting may or may not provide much value to other stakeholders and PO, which is why presence of PO is not mandatory in Scrum daily standups.

The daily scrum meeting is not a status update meeting in which a boss is collecting information about who is behind schedule. Rather, it is a meeting in which team members make commitments to each other.

https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/agile/scrum/daily-scrum

In your case, the PO may be getting involved because just to fill the void left by the team. Instead of talking to the PO, talk to the team first. Make them aware that its their job and why is it important. They should be running these meetings, so just in case if both PO and Scrum Master are not present on a particular day, the standup should be equally effective and efficient without them.

The Daily Scrum is intended to disrupt old habits of working separately. Members should remain vigilant for signs of the old approach. For example, looking only at the ScrumMaster when speaking is one symptom that the team hasn’t learned to operate as a self-organizing entity.

http://scrumreferencecard.com/scrum-reference-card/

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According to the Scrum Guide, the Daily Scrum is a meeting for the Development Team. It also says that it is the duty of the Scrum Master to teach the team about effective ways to hold a Daily Scrum, including teaching (and enforcing) the idea that any attendees from outside the Development Team do not disrupt the meeting.

Find out if the Development Team considers this an impediment. Also make sure that the purpose of the Daily Scrum is being fulfilled. If the Daily Scrum is ineffective, find solutions to make it effective again.

Ideally, the Daily Scrum is for the Development Team. Make sure that it meets their needs.

5

To build on other answers, I would say that the only concerns should be if:

  • Standup is longer than 15 minutes. There are plenty of actual reasons for why there's a timebox, but the end result is that it's a rule of scrum which you need to help your team uphold.
  • The PO is dominating the conversation. The PO should barely be contributing other than to answer the team's questions. As others have pointed out, daily standup is for the team to evaluate where they are in their sprint.
  • The team is treating standup as a status update to the PO. This one is not as much of a concern as the other two. This is a pitfall even for scrum masters. Again, standup is for the team. If each person is talking to a single person -- Product Owner, Scrum Master, Technical Lead, doesn't matter -- then that could be indicative of a culture problem within the team.

Other than that, if the team is working, then it's all working. Working is good.

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I would advise to contact your team and discuss with them the need to have the PO attending the daily meeting, it's totally the team decision to have him in the meeting or not.

Your job as Scrum Coach (whether the PO is there or not) is to eliminate any side conversations in the daily meetings except of the following

What did you do since the last meeting?

Did you have problems? if yes just highlight them in front of the team, and if someone really has a solution, they shouldn't discuss the solution at the moment of the meeting, but they should do this offline later on.

What are you planning to do until the next meeting?

Anything else except of these questions should be abandon from the discussion

  • The thing is the PO is actually eliminating side conversations. So he is doing my job. – TheLearner Sep 3 '15 at 6:17
  • You need to discuss this situation with your organization and raise an issue that you are not capable to complete your work perfectly – Kareem Waheed Sep 3 '15 at 17:03
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It is the duty of the Team to attend and manage the Daily Scrum. The Product Owner (PO) is not responsible for Daily Scrums. In fact, the PO should not even intervene in the discussion of the Team. If the PO is taking over, then you should talk to the entire Team and then to the PO for a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities.

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