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New Product Owner in existing team

Last post 08:18 am June 7, 2022 by Michael Lloyd
6 replies
11:48 am June 2, 2022

Hi everyone, 


I'm just new to an existing scrum team that is in a scrum transition period as a product owner. And also I have PSMI certificate, according to my observations in the first weeks, there are some shortcomings in their scrum applying. But first of all, I want to make one-on-one meetings with the team. And I need your advice at this point, on how should my approach be. And which questions I should ask the team in these one-on-one meetings. 

PS: There are some developers who are shy and avoid talking. 


Your advice is very valuable to me.


Thank you

03:25 pm June 2, 2022

Have you mentioned these observations in a Sprint Retrospective?

One-on-ones are a poor substitute for action by a team with a consensus view of reality.

07:44 pm June 2, 2022

If you have your PSM I certification, why would you even consider having 1:1s with the team members as an attempt to improve?  And as a Product Owner, why do you feel it is your job?  

As @Ian points out, the entire team is responsible for the work and output that is achieved.  Since you are the one that thinks you see problems, you should feel comfortable bringing this up in a Retrospective for the team to discuss.  Remember that there is no single person that makes all of the decisions in Scrum.  Also remember that your opinion may not reflect those of the rest of the team. 


10:50 am June 3, 2022

Hi @lan and @Daniel, 

First of all, I appreciate your advice. But I guess I expressed myself wrong. The goal of these 1:1 meetings is to get to know them, not fix the shortcomings that I observed. Of course, I will discuss my observation in retrospective as you said. 

As I said before the team is in the Scrum transition process, so I am undecided on what should be my approach in these meetings? What kind of questions should I ask? Because this is my first time being involved with an existing scrum team that is in the transition process.


Thank you

04:28 pm June 3, 2022

If you want to get to know people it"s usually best to frame any questions as open ones -- not questions which demand a yes/no answer, but which encourage a train of thought. It typically isn't the information content which is important at this stage, but the ability to get into rapport. Information comes later.

02:04 pm June 6, 2022

Hi @Ian,

Thank you for your help.

08:18 am June 7, 2022

Whenever I start with a new team I go through a similar process of just trying to have 1:1 conversations with people to understand where they are. 

I usually try to ask:

What's your favourite thing about the job/company? 
Whats the biggest source of pain/thing that stops you from being successful in the role? 
What do you think is our biggest oppurtunity for change?

These questions usually start to uncover patterns that tell me where to start poking, but as others have said, don't try to take action based on those conversations, just use them to help you understand the environment.