In an Agile 1.0 organization, where a traditional management structure exists with Scrum teams in delivery roles, management fires the Scrum team if they don’t perform.
In an Agile 2.0 organization, where the entire company is re-organized into Scrum teams that replace previous silos, a Scrum leadership team evaluates the Scrum team’s velocity and holds the Scrum Master responsible if velocity doesn’t trend upward. The Product Owner is responsible for Business Value delivered per point and should be held accountable if that doesn’t also trend upward.
In an agile 3.0 organization, where the entire company is re-organized into cross-functional Scrum teams, any team may perform the leadership role. That means, any team can hold any Product Owner, Scrum Master, or team accountable. Also, any individual team can evaluate its own performance during retrospectives and has full authority to fire team members or disband if necessary to ensure the health of the team and/or organization.
I have never been part of an agile transformation that required firing anyone. The truism here may be it’s the process not the people. However, I have seen people opt out of a company during an agile transformation.
Ideally in Scrum, big and visible performance metrics help teams better self-organize in order to correct and improve poor performance long before such a talent draining solution such as firing would be helpful. That said, being clear about how a self-organizing and object-oriented community should hold itself accountable is crucial to the continuous improvement of that community.
-- Joe Justice, CST