I am currently a Scrum master of a team since a few months.
The Product Owner feels he's not part of a team, not liked by Team Members and that he is sidelined. For more context, he's been with the company for many years. He was first a dev, then a Scrum Master. He gave up the role because he wasn't a good fit. So he switched position to be a Product Owner. After that, there was not Scrum Master at all for more than 6 months until I was hired.
I don't really know what to do but I think it's important to do something because:
- In retrospectives, it sours the interactions, as he feels apart, he's negative
- He wants to impose his point of view, he doesn't accept criticism but criticize everyone else
- He never comes to daily meetings so he counts on me to repeat what was said everyday and when the team has questions about user stories, they don't have instant answer so it can slow down the development
- He's demotivating the team, always sighing, he's not convincing the team the user stories are important.
In my opinion, I don't like him that much because he's negative with everybody. But, as I am neutral, I manage to not show it and I try to push him to be more participative, positive and present with the team.
It could be a management problem, but I couldn't address it (right now) as Product Team is another Team and a new Head of Product has been hired and will be soon with us
So the question is: What can I do, as a Scrum Master, to help him?
Why I want to help him? It will be gainful if all the Scrum Team was in good terms, plus it's an impediment at many moments in the sprint.
PS: Sorry if my English is not that good, not my mother tongue.
- What does "is negative" mean? What kind of "positivity" are you looking for?
- About what is he trying to impose his view? (As PO, he should be the final arbiter of business value, but not dictate technical stuff). Is the criticism constructive and helpful?
- Why do you think he should participate in daily meetings? According to Scrum, the PO is not required to attend these.
- What is he "sighing" about? And why does that demotivate the team?
- He's always put ideas to progress down, because "It's so difficult" "It won't works" "Too much work for me". He's not trying to improve and complains when team is not improving. I would like him to at least try, without having to fight with him everytime the team want a minor change.
- He imposed to the team a Kanban by going to upper management (The CEO ...) and then complain that the team was not motivated by this change, he has no right to say how the team should do the work.
- He's not required it's true, but he's always asking me questions about what was said, how the dev are doing X thing, if they are blocked ... If he wants to know that, we have a daily meeting !! He could just connect to the online meet, listen and then answer the questions if the team have some.
- He's sighing about everything. Minor changes, Team wants more context/infos about a user story, team asking for a flow chart, team asking questions, team goes too fast, team goes to slow, retro is "too hard" he never thought about this subject. Always negative. And when someone is always negative, it poisons the team.