Does anyone have any suggestions for the following scenario:

We have a Scrum Team and the organisation has decided to work in this fashion. Some of the team members report to different managers.

We recently had a live issue and the different managers 'scolded' individuals on the team in the background... without the rest of the team knowing about this.

I was going to arrange a mini-retro with the team about it and then also coach the managers to rather approach the whole team not individuals.

How do you suggest we handle this moving forward?

  • Were they scolded for something inside the Scum process (for example software bug that did not get caught in testing) or something outside of the Scrum process (for example called in sick, but could not produce a doctors note to HR on request although their contract requires it).
    – nvoigt
    Sep 8, 2018 at 7:45
  • @nvoigt inside. It was a bug which appeared to have not been caught during testing but eventually the team discovered it wasn’t even their fault.
    – user32613
    Sep 8, 2018 at 7:46
  • So the bosses just scolded random (or actually not random, but those they could reach, regardless on who actually worked on an issue) team members?
    – nvoigt
    Sep 8, 2018 at 7:52
  • @nvoigt they scolded the members who originally tested the functionality and also the ones trying to fix bug
    – user32613
    Sep 8, 2018 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


I would add one step to your process. Just to make sure we are thinking about the same, these are the 3 steps I have in mind:

  • Do the internal retro with your team
  • Agree on a process with the managers to approach members of the team
  • Speak to each manager individually about the importance of addressing this situation and the process you create
  • 4
    In that conversation with managers, you may want to keep a curious mind as to why they are doing what they are doing. There may be root causes reenforcing this behavior. I have seen plenty of organizations where they create this exact situation because the director or VP is still expecting the managers to exert control over their direct reports even though they've taken away that structural mechanism, putting the managers in a very difficult, and frankly unfair, situation.
    – Daniel
    Sep 7, 2018 at 15:41
  • That's actually a really good point Daniel, thanks for the comment! I completely forgot about their reasons and I would actually start the conversation there in order to make it easier Sep 7, 2018 at 16:14
  • Mind that they also might not know any better way. Oct 9, 2018 at 20:05

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