A scrum master is a team member mostly working towards keeping the agile principles intact within the team. A person who is responsible for facilitation of the ceremonies, educating the team on agile principles, solving team’s dependencies and ensuring to foster a healthy environment for product development.
In a practical set up, we have seen a lot of project managers, Business Analyst or QA mapped to a scrum master role and scrum masters when hired to a new team, tend to play the role of project managers. While we all know the roles and responsibilities of a scrum master, here are a few points to stress on things which a scrum master will want to stop doing and start doing.
Team Inspector Vs. Supervisor
Micromanaging your team puts unwanted pressure on your development team and will cause a burnout. It is much better to trust your team and enable/ empower them to self manage and complete their work on time
Agile Dictator Vs. Agile Influencer
It is of little help to impose agile practices which are not working for your team. A more nuanced approach is share situational/contextual recommendations and suggestions inspired by agile practices, revisiting them whenever your team needs a genuine change in process
Meaningful Reports over Placeholders
Sending numerous reports which no one looks at, just for the sake of compliance or org demands, does not help your team and also takes up your bandwidth. It is much better to identify and onboard the team on minimal reports which helps analyze the areas of improvements and actually add value.
Team’s Mediator Vs. Collaboration agent
Avoid being your team’s SPOC, this creates a bottleneck and will delay decision making capabilities of your team. A more effective approach is to align yourself towards encouraging your team to communicate across the org and letting them self manage their communication
Immediate intervention over Ignoring Basics
Stop Ignoring your team’s failures, if you observe your team skipping DOD, DOR or any other important ceremony, it is best to talk to them and understand the underlying reasons. An immediate course correction will help future pain areas and help your team overcome the problems at an earlier stage
Autocratic Vs. Democratic Mindset
Do not assume your team’s problems/concerns and take a unanimous decision. Your decision might not help your team. It’s important to discuss your team’s concerns, issues and collectively make decisions. This strongly promotes self sustainability in your team.
Facilitator Vs. Value Driven Intervention
You are not just a facilitator. Limiting yourself to just facilitation will make you reach your job saturation early and your work will end up becoming monotonous. It is prudent to involve yourself in design, backlog cleanup, new initiatives , and other activities which help the team deliver more value to the customer.
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