The ScrumMaster Files: A Ticket to Ride?

You sit sipping your coffee as you prepare for Sprint Planning that will take place later this morning.  As you review the calendar for the next two weeks, Ted and Janine, two of your team members approach. Ted has been reluctant in adopting Scrum and Agile.

Janine has been one of the strongest proponents of adopting Agile and Scrum in the organization.  They stop at your desk with Ted opening the discussion, “Do you have a minute to chat?  We have a question that we need answered prior to planning this morning.”

You reply, “Sure, go ahead” grabbing your notebook.  Janine continues, “Well, it’s actually more of a debate that we need you to help settle, I told Ted that we don’t need to log any support tickets anymore since we’re Agile.  Instead, we should just add these items to the backlog and let them be ordered with the rest of the work.”

Janine goes on to describe how adding support to the backlog will allow, Pete, the Product Owner to order these items against all of the work that he is identifying for the Team.  Ted interrupts Janine at this point – “Pete isn’t really around that much Janine.  He pretty much delegates everything to you and Jim.”

“I know, but that’s really not a problem, Ted,” replies Janine. “Jim is decisive, understands the business – Pete loves being known as the ‘Product Owner’ but doesn’t really act like one.  As long as we have Jim we are okay”.

“I don’t know” replies Ted, “Maybe we should ask Greg, the Executive Sponsor, to weigh in.  He is the one that asked Pete to be the Product Owner”.

Janine, indignant at this last comment, “Ted – we are a self-organizing team and Scrum states that there are no managers in Agile, so why talk to Greg?”

With brow furrowed, Ted asks you, the ScrumMaster, what to do.

  • As the ScrumMaster, how would you respond to Ted and Janine?
  • Are there any questions you would ask?
  • Is there anything that you need to teach regarding the Scrum framework?

What would you do next?
Enter your response in the comments section below.