I'm new to a team and have been selected as scrum-master. I'd like to do project one-one-ones as I feel not all the info is being got out in our daily meetings and would like to delve a bit deeper into the items in our sprint. I'm worried if I do set up one-on-ones it will be seen as trying to manage the team or break the agile set up of the project. Also none of the scrum team members are my directs.

MsSunshine's picture

Your comment that you feel like "not all the info is being got out in our daily meetings" has me curious.  What info is that?

What exactly are you wanting to find out at your one-on-ones.  You aren't doing coaching, delegation or feedback - their manager should be doing that.  Your daily stand-ups are supposed to give you:  1) what they did; 2) what they are doing now; and 3) any impediments.  You should have a release plan that tells you what your longer term project plan is.  You should have user stories that tell you what the people are doing.  They should be reporting their progress daily at the stand-up against the stories so you know what they are doing.  The retrospectives give you information on what should stay the same, what the team should start doing and what the team should stop doing.

Obviously, you have ad-hoc discussions/meetings for issues to delve deeper but those probably aren't on a one-to-one basis and weekly either.

I guess I'm just wondering what it is that isn't being said at those that you care about.  If you think the team isn't having open & honest communication or has other problems, you should work with the manager to help solve them.

For some background I'm the manager of a couple of scrum teams.  I do weekly one-on-ones.  My scrum masters do not do one-on-ones.  I do leadership meetings with them and the product owners to talk about issues, strategy, etc.  The scrum masters either raise concerns there or most of the time just do it when things happen.

Maybe this doesn't matter but my entire company does scrum (probably 50+ teams) and none of the scrum masters do one-on-ones - the managers do.

gpsmith's picture

I have a different take on it. As a full time scrum master/scrum coach, I feel my relationship needs to be better with the team, as I'm not sitting with them as I span a couple of teams and help other scrum masters improve. While Managers in my opinion should do O3s, they don't currently do that here.

I have a need to improve my relationships and have a vehicle to allow for feedback and coaching, which I see as part of my role (in addition to what a manager should be doing). I'm about to kick O3s off with my team and will see how it goes. From my previous life, where I had directs I know how fantastic O3s can be so I'm hoping it will help greatly.

I should add, I don't intend to do them weekly (although I did when I was a line manager).

High D,I