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ScrumMaster

The "Team Spirit" Guardian

14 April 2014

Vijay Bandaru
IVY Comptech


The Role of a ScrumMaster

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The team

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Naturally it takes time to reach the final stage. But you, as ScrumMaster, can compress that time. How?

Understand your team

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Behavioral traits of Agile teams

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As ScrumMaster, how do you overcome them?

  • Try to make people adaptable/flexible.
  • Encourage the team to fix problems without waiting for:
    • Who broke it.
    • Who should fix it.
  • Let the team be progressively elaborative.
    • Let them take baby steps.
    • Experiment and get feedback.
    • Take interim inputs from respective stakeholders (PO, team, etc.).
  • Conduct team bonding activities.
    • Encourage pair programming (not with two members sitting together with two laptops!).
    • Play/hold fun activities.
    • Have a name for your Scrum team.
    • Have lunch together.
    • Hold team outings.
  • The ScrumMaster is a very powerful role, so let the team understand this role and its responsibilities properly.
  • Encourage innovation wherever applicable.
  • Try to increase collaboration.
  • Encourage face-to-face communication.
  • Appreciate the team whenever they do a good job.
  • Everyone on the team should have a common understanding of the vision.
  • Share knowledge.
  • Make room to accept the feedback and act on it.
  • Team work means 1 + 1 = 3.
  • Let the team feel accountability.
  • Work as a team, more than as an individual.
  • Encourage transparency, openness in standups, reviews, and retrospectives.
  • Identify the weaknesses and address them.
  • Move people around.
  • Fail or succeed as a team, but not as an individual.
  • Understand the category of your team members. Are they Theory X or Theory Y?
    • If Theory X: You have to spend your time coaching them actively.
    • If Theory Y: Encourage them to help you in coaching Theory X members in the team.
    • You need to ensure that all the Theory X members will be converted to Theory Y within a stipulated time.

Learn and help your team learn

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Ask yourself a question: "How do I learn?" This is the starting point to becoming Agile.
  • "Tell me, I forget; show me, I remember; involve me, I understand."
  • Learning styles: visual, musical/audio, verbal, physical, logical, social, etc.
  • Curiosity is the first step for learning and ego is the first blocker.

Have your own backlog for your team's growth

I want my team to be . . .

Cross-functional
Sprint 1

1. Encourage secondary skills.
2. Arrange training.
Sprint 2
3. Encourage knowledge sharing.
Sprint 3
4. Dedicate X percent of capacity for learning.
5. Move people around.

High-performance
Sprint 1

1. Introduce pair programming.
2. Start TDD.
Sprint 2
3. Introduce refactoring.
Sprint 3
4. Starting continuous integration.
5. Aim for ZQC.

Self-organized
Sprint 1

1. Manage their own impediments.
2. Timebox.

Sprint 2
3. Innovate, inspect, and adapt.

Motivated
Sprint 1

1. Engage in team-building activities.
2. Select good metrics.
Sprint 2
3. Celebrate their success.
Sprint 3
4. ROWE


An approach to success

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Morale is a multiplier for velocity.

To formulate an approach to success, ScrumMasters must do the following:
  • Appreciate when the team does well.
  • Protect the team from obstacles from outside.
  • Take pride in the good work done or the great work delivered.
  • Empower the team.
  • Have optimism in process efficiency.
  • Celebrate success to make the moments memorable.
  • Create happiness genuinely.

How can you make the difference?

Agile is built on responsibility at all levels of the organization.

As ScrumMasters, we must:
  • Show responsibility at our level.
  • Let our teams feel that we are responsible by closely working with them to address their impediments and protect and support them.
  • Help management understand and be Agile.
  • Bridge the gaps at all levels through information radiation.
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Thank you!


Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.



Article Rating

Current rating: 4.9 (7 ratings)

Comments

Tim Baffa, CSM, 4/14/2014 9:15:58 AM
An excellent resource for ways to serve teams and foster professional growth within an organization.
Aravind Uppu, CSM, 4/14/2014 12:04:58 PM
Excellent article, very useful for scrum masters
Haseena Fathima, CSM, 4/19/2016 4:47:03 AM
Awesome article.. :) Nice way to explain the role of Scrum Master. A way different from the articles written on SM.Thanks!

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