When a Scrum Master joins a team, there’s so much to do. It’s daunting and sometimes a bit overwhelming. We have so many questions! Where’s the team need our help? Are they entrenched in how they operate or open to change? How do they interact with each other? How receptive are they to me, their new Scrum Master? Today, I’d like to explain one approach that I’ve find successful, and it all begins with a conversation.
In my previous blog post, I talked about how I believe a Scrum Master should be trying to put him or herself out of a job. Put another way, we should master the art of actively doing nothing. Some agreed; some didn’t. Some thought the language was too strong. Others thought it was just right. However, let’s put the debate aside for the moment and discuss what it means. How can a Scrum Master hand his or her responsibilities to the team? What responsibilities? When should this begin? First, let’s start with why. Why should a Scrum Master want to hand responsibility for the team to the team:
- To allow additional time to address organizational impediments.
- To cultivate an environment where team members are responsible and accountable to one another.
- To minimize the bus factor and create T-shaped people within the team.
As far as when, I think LeSS illustrates it best in this graph. At first, a Scrum Master spends a great deal of time with the team and Product Owner. However, as the team matures, he or she peels away to assist the organization in other ways. To read more about how LeSS views the Scrum Master role, click here and here.
Much of the role of the Scrum Master is intangible. We don’t write elegant code, we don’t craft beautiful designs, and we better not be creating Gantt charts. Instead, we’re masters at soft skills, but how can such a thing be quantified? And if not quantified, how can I know if I’m a good Scrum Master? How can I honestly assess myself in the spirit of continuous improvement? With respect to a Scrum Master’s service to a team, it begins by asking six questions.
In my last blog post, I promised to offer up some tricks and tweaks to help facilitate the daily scrum. Today, I intend to deliver on that promise. Before reading on, I encourage you to read Mastering the Daily Scrum. As a reminder, we previously discussed how to improve and focus our stand up; however, something more tangible is often needed to reinforce the proper mindset. With that in mind, let’s talk about several tools that can help as we facilitate the daily scrum.