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Small Ways to Be a Better Scrum Master

Great scrum masters are facilitators who ensure the agile team has a clear path to success by removing impediments before they can become a problem. In a role like this, there are many small ways in which to improve. Jayarajkumar Ayyappan elaborates on some of these in an article for Scrum Alliance.

Further Mastery

At the start of the work day, before email has even been checked, Ayyappan encourages scrum masters to walk around and talk with the team to get a pulse on how they are doing. If there are any relevant issues, team members are likely to bring them up in this early morning dialogue, and so a mental list of priorities for the day might be built just from this task. A break room pep talk with colleagues could equate to the same effect.

Another tip Ayyappan offers is to be like M.S. Dhoni, “India’s most popular cricketer.” For those of us who do not know what a “yorker” or a “googly” is, the whole analogy falls apart pretty quickly and to comical effect, but the bottom line is that scrum masters need to find ways to bring out the best work in their teams. In more practical terms, it is explained:

Our focus should be on the sprint goal rather than finding or resolving the internal issues during the sprint. One way to handle this is to listen, listen, and then listen some more. Influence the team to take on the complex challenges or user stories; by voluntarily doing so they will shift their focus to the technical challenges, which gives them a sense of satisfaction because they are providing solutions. Facilitate in such a way that everyone on the team has the opportunity in the sprint review to discuss features.

Another major duty of the scrum master is to be able to anticipate future sprint challenges, the kind that will not come up in a morning chat. Whether it is something small like lacking administrator access, or something large like a proof of concept being rejected, scrum masters always need to be asking questions at each stage. Assumptions must be scrutinized, and the team should come to a consensus together about what the smoothest course of action is.

In these ways, a scrum master can be more effective, and agile is all about incremental improvement. You can view the original article here: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2016/april/one-step-closer-to-a-better-scrummaster

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid’s Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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