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Removing dev team member

Last post 01:22 am September 6, 2015
by Anonymous
25 replies
01:46 am May 16, 2014

A new member is added in Dev team. But he has conflict with all team members.Who is responsible for removing the new team member and why ?

03:12 am May 16, 2014

Another question :
Items on the Product Backlog tend to be smaller, larger , equal than the sprint backlog items

06:38 am May 16, 2014

Items in PB are larger then items in SB! in SB the items are broken down to smaller "increments" that can be solved in sprint. Also the definition and detailing for that "smaller" items are more detailed.

07:12 pm May 20, 2014

> A new member is added in Dev team. But he has conflict with all team members.
> Who is responsible for removing the new team member and why ?

Given your own reading of the Scrum Guide, what do you think the best answer is likely to be?

06:21 am May 21, 2014

As a hint: Which attributes does the Dev team have?

03:09 pm May 22, 2014

I think it should be DEV team itself

01:52 pm May 23, 2014


Why do you think its the dev team is a the question for you?
There must be some logic that brought you to that conclusion, what was it?

09:09 am May 27, 2014

Well, I doubted when answering this question (did the PSM 1 yesterday).
The SM is there to remove impediments but the team is self-organizing and self-managing.

I'd say that the team should try to solve it themselves, but they could ask the SM for help.
However, the scrum guide says that the SM is responsible for the coaching of the team.

For me, a good coach is pro-active and doesn't wait until someone asks for help.
Second, the team itself might not have enough influence within the organisation to be able to 'remove' that person from the team.

I found it to be a though question.
First answered it with 'Scrum Master' and bookmarked it.
Then I corrected it when there was a question about self-organizing teams.

I still don't know the correct answer and the scrum guide is quite ambigious about it (imo).

10:28 am May 27, 2014

> For me, a good coach is pro-active and doesn't wait until someone asks for help.

Correct, but a good coach won't do a person's job for them. Rather, he or she will explain what their responsibilities are and how to fulfil them, including if necessary the thorny matter of team member removal. A Scrum Master would facilitate the team decision but would not try and pre-empt the decision itself.

> Second, the team itself might not have enough influence within the organisation
> to be able to 'remove' that person from the team.

That would be a different problem requiring a different response from the Scrum Master. In this situation, the lack of influence of the team would be the problem to solve. The Scrum Master would need to coach the wider organization regarding the importance of having empowered and self-organizing teams.

11:12 am May 27, 2014

That certainly makes sense, thanks.
In the end, it is indeed the team that has the ultimate responsibility.
I think I was focusing too much on 'impediment' and considered it as one the SM could solve (remove in this case).

When searching other topics with the same question led me to the following topic which contains some very good and detailed answers:

01:55 pm June 3, 2014

hen a new member is added into the Development Team and has a conflict with the team members - who should remove him or her from the team? If you read the Scrum guide paying little attention to details, you may conclude that the development team has this authority because they should be allowed to correct themselves. However, when you think about it logically, that is in accurate position. Allowing a team to remove a member in my view is allowing the team to dis - function. The team should only have the power to correct themselves to deliver on the sprint goal, the power to remove one from the team should fall within the line manager who has the power to hire and fire a member in the team.

06:01 pm June 8, 2014

The scrum guide presumes a culture who has readily and completely commited to scrum , in that climate the correct answer is the Dev Team , self organizing will include removal of impediments,
Everything from how the team works, and what tools or resources are used. If a Dev team is endangering the Sprint Goal and preventing optimal work, its up to the Dev Team to remove the dev team member in question.

08:39 am February 6, 2015

Yes, but the question si "Who is responsible" ?

Dev Team have no power to do this.

12:45 pm February 6, 2015

I've been thinking of this question as well since taking the PSM.

I believe that the Dev Team has this responsibility in an ideal Scrum world, but I just can't believe that a group outside the Scrum team (I'm thinking HR or Legal) wouldn't have some influence in this decision. Especially in the case of smaller organizations with no other Scrum teams, for the member being removed, to move to. What happens to the employee being removed from the team? Is he/she fired from the company?

It just seems like a wrongful termination lawsuit ready to happen.

01:55 am February 7, 2015

From my experience, this is a rather complex issue. Its not as cut and dry as "we don't get along or disagree so he/she needs to leave". The Development Team can make a recommendation after all efforts to "make it work" have been exploited (inclusive of conflict-management meetings facilitated between the targeted individual and some of the other team members).

In general, the functional heads (heads of Dev, QA, UE/UX, Doc, Ops, etc) are the ones that decide on the selection/deselection of individuals within teams. Since removing a team-member is a serious issue, the functional heads will also inquire (and may ask for evidence) whether the team really tried to make it work with the individual they are having conflicts with. It depends on context: whether its a skills issue, a personality issue or a difference in technical disagreements, or a work performance issue etc. The original article on Scrum (written by the Japanese professors in Harvard Biz Review) discuss "subtle control" over teams by management.

Mike Cohn wrote about this topic several years ago.

02:09 am February 7, 2015

Heads of Functional/Line Management are always involved in personnel decisions whether its team formation, removal of personnel from teams/projects or removal from the company. HR definitely is involved in "removal from company" scenario.

I haven't seen a single organization where the Dev Team has unilateral decision-making authority in expelling a member from the team.

05:19 pm February 7, 2015

I agree with Ryan.
Scrum master will try to lead the dev team to analyze problems and find solutions, then the scrum master may contact to the organization (manager, HR or other) to try to solve the problem

06:14 am February 9, 2015

Hi Ludwig,
I believe that it is dev team you mean and this is "correct" answer.

The Dev Team is self organising on how to complete their work not who is its member I believe.
In real organisation for sure it iwll not be a decision of the team, maybe scrum master, but rather organisation.
The team may complain but it cannot take personal decision, the same if they want somebody to join it is
not their decision.


07:07 am February 9, 2015

I remember Esther Derby talking about "coaching people off the team". It's not a euphemism I particularly like, but it is a handy one, and I've never come up with a better alternative.

It implies that the Scrum Master, as a coach, has a duty to facilitate the process of team member removal. It can be seen both in the context of removing an impediment to the team's progress and also as a service to the wider organization. For example, the SM may have to assist HR in making sure that legal due diligence is observed, and also in trying to find a different position within the organization to which the individual is better suited.

08:10 am February 10, 2015

From SG:

"Dev Teams are STRUCTERED and EMPOWERED by the organisation", so it would reasonable that Dev Team cannot structure itself.

10:51 am February 10, 2015

> "Dev Teams are STRUCTERED and EMPOWERED by the organisation", so it would reasonable that Dev Team cannot structure itself.

It would be reasonable for an organization to structure and empower an agile team in such a way that it becomes self-adapting. Perhaps that would be a better implementation of this guidance.

11:52 am March 6, 2015

It is scrum master's responsibility

The detail provided in the following link is very logical and I agree with Author's viewpoint.

For example, over time and through attrition a team might become too homogeneous.

An astute scrum product owner, functional manager, or even ScrumMaster might counter by adding two new team members with radically different backgrounds, skills, decision-making styles, or so on. Doesn’t it seem possible—likely even, in this example—that a team might have a knee-jerk reaction and vote the new, nonconforming individuals off the team, negating the work of the leader who deliberately added them? Ultimate authority for team composition, therefore, must reside with the leadership of the organization. Those leaders should listen, of course, when team members say they think they’d be more productive without a member. But, team members should not be allowed on their own to remove someone from the team.

11:31 am March 7, 2015

Nope -- it is not the scrummaster's responsibility. Management does not mean Scrum Master. And Mike Cohn's link that you provided does not suggest that either. Read comments section in that link again. In comments section, when Mike Cohn talks about "subtle control" and management in reference to Harvard article, he's not talking about Scrummaster -- he is talking about line/functional management. This link was in-fact provided in an earlier post on this topic by "John". And poster "Romek Romek" also correct about management and reference Scrum Guide "Dev Teams are STRUCTERED and EMPOWERED by the organisation". Right answer" Line or Dept or Functional management

08:12 am March 12, 2015

Posted By Saima Rahman on 16 May 2014 01:46 AM
A new member is added in Dev team. But he has conflict with all team members.Who is responsible for removing the new team member and why ?

Here, I think the answer llies in the world RESPONSIBLE.

From the SG, let's see what is known based on the same EMPIRICAL PROCESS CONTROL covered in Scrum:

1.Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional.
2.Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others (management) outside the team.
3. Development Teams are structured and empowered by the organization to organize and manage their own work.

The only correct conclusion then is that it is the Development Team that is RESPONSIBLE for taking actions to remove a team's member if they tried everything but the developer is just not demonstrating commitment to the team and is increasing risk to the delivery of a potentially releasable increment.

08:31 pm April 8, 2015

If the whole development team is dysfunctional, the team is responsible for removing itself?

Anyway, If the whole development team is dysfunctional it might fail to remove itself. If that scenario happen, assume it is the PO that is responsible for removing the development team?

01:22 am September 6, 2015

This is a very good euphemism and it's how I would do it as a Scrum Master. I took my PSM I tonight and missed two questions (both in the self-organization category) and I'm almost certain this was one of the two. I took the question very literal and answered management would need to remove the person.

Looking back, it's very likely the answer the assessment preferred would have been Scrum Master as they are the catalyst in this scenario that gets this executed.

Always a pleasure reading your perspectives Ian. Thanks!