Posted in My Scrum Notes, Scrum Roles

First Conversation with the Scrum Team

This interview structure is adapted from the sample questions from The First 90 Days, page 176 (1).

Method

  • Meet with each direct report in turn and ask the following questions  
  • By asking the same questions of everyone you can see where similarities and differences lie, which will help you understand what kind of team player each person is a little more. 
  • Once you have gone through all the data of the interviews, gather the whole team together and discuss what you have found out through the interviews and have an open discussion.

Questions

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of our existing use of Scrum and complementary practices?
  • What are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing us in the short term? In the medium term?
    • In terms of our Product and providing our customers with value
    • In terms of our Scrum team’s processes and ways of working
  • What resources could we leverage more effectively?
    • In terms of our processes
    • In terms of our tools
    • In terms of individuals in our team
    • In terms of our interactions inside and outside the team
  • How could we improve the way the team works together?
  • If you were in my position, what would your priorities be?

Optional Follow-up Questions

People 

  • How do you think the skills and responsibilities are balanced in the team? 
  • If there is a mistake/ failure within the team, is it openly discussed in team events? What about with external stakeholders?
  • Is there anyone inside the team or externally who has a big influence on the way we work or what/how we develop, and why? 

Land mines 

  • What was the most recent surprises that detonated and put us off track?
    • What is the most common? 
  • What potentially damaging cultural or political missteps must you avoid? 

Practices

  • Are there any Scrum or complementary practices that you know about that you think would benefit us as a team?
  • What are the most recent improvements that were made to our practices?
    • Who lead the change?
    • Do you think it was successful/ worthwhile?
    • Was there any opposition to the change?
  • What current parts of our process frustrates you the most?

References

  1. The First 90 days by Michael D. Watkins

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