What is a SCRUM Master
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What is a SCRUM Master

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  • The SCRUM process has just a few well defined roles:Team memberProduct OwnerSCRUM MasterThe SCRUM master role is the most important role related directly to the team. Yet there is little information about the exact contents of this role. This presentation tries to give a thorough explanation of the SCRUM Master role.
  • In the core of the SCRUM process the SCRUM master role is described with this simple list, for people that are new to SCRUM it is probably not enough to understand the full contents of the role by just viewing this list.So let’s look into each aspect in more detail.
  • The facilitation part of a SCRUM master is in the broadest meaning of the word. In essence it means that the SCRUM master should make sure that the team can do its’ work in the most efficient way.
  • The facilitation part of a SCRUM master is in the broadest meaning of the word. In essence it means that the SCRUM master should make sure that the team can do its’ work in the most efficient way.
  • The SCRUM Master needs to guard that the SCRUM process is used by the team. If the SCRUM Master notices that the team is diverting from the SCRUM practices, it is the job of the SCRUM master to remind them of it and to get them back on track.The team can suggest changes to the SCRUM process, for example: “the team wants to increase the sprint length from 2 weeks to 4 weeks”. But changes can only be accepted if:- It is within the boundaries of SCRUM.- The SCRUM Master agrees.
  • Being A SCRUM Master does not mean that you have to resolve every impediment by yourself. The SCRUM master is responsible for the fact that the impediment will be resolved, but can address multiple resources to help him or her with resolving the impediment.
  • To manage the impediments in a team it is best to have an impediment backlog. Put new impediments on this backlog and prioritize it with the team. If there are impediments that are brought in by the product owner or are related to the product owner, include the product owner in the prioritization of this backlog.If a team has an empty impediment backlog it is a sign that a team is not thinking about improvements. Brainstorm with the team to look for impediments.
  • The SCRUM Master needs to make sure that the team can focus on the work in the current sprint as much as possible. Therefore the SCRUM master needs to protect the team against everything that can hinder that.Outside influences; people that ask members from the team to perform tasks that are not related to the current sprint. For example: “please fix this bug for me.”Product owner pressure; A product owner can put pressure on a team to force them to take more stories into the sprint then they are capable of or can push for lower estimates. The team needs to be protected from that.And then there is the third factor, protecting the team from itself.
  • The SCRUM Master needs to make sure that the team can focus on the work in the current sprint as much as possible. Therefore the SCRUM master needs to protect the team against everything that can hinder that.Outside influences; people that ask members from the team to perform tasks that are not related to the current sprint. For example: “please fix this bug for me.”Product owner pressure; A product owner can put pressure on a team to force them to take more stories into the sprint then they are capable of or can push for lower estimates. The team needs to be protected from that.And then there is the third factor, protecting the team from itself.
  • Protecting the team against dangers from outside the team is important, but it is just as important to protect the team against themselves.The two biggest problems to protect a team against are actually eachothers opposites.Over committing. It is good that a team sets challenges for themselves, but the SCRUM master should prevent the team from committing to more work than they can actually handle. Taking too much work causes a stress level that is too high, while SCRUM is actually based on a continuous workload.Complacency. After starting to work with SCRUM teams are getting improvements quite fast and there is a danger that they are happy with that small achievement and that they stop improving from that point because they think they have achieved the goal already. A SCRUM master should inspire the team to challenge themselves from time to time to trigger more self improvement.
  • Coaching activities of a SCRUM Master can be on different levels in the organization depending the maturity of the organization and support for agile adoption in the rest of the organization.Coaching on the team level involves coaching the team members in the usage of SCRUM, the inspect – adapt – eliminate waste cycle and help team members resolve conflicts between themselves or between team members and the product owner
  • Coaching on the team level is the most important coaching task of the SCRUM Master. This involves:Resolving conflicts between team members, or between team members and the PO. It is the job of the SCRUM Master to bring people that have conflicts together and coach them into resolving these conflicts.Educating the SCRUM Process. The SCRUM Master has the authority of the process that the team uses and is therefore also responsible to make sure that all people in the team have sufficient knowledge of the SCRUM proces. This does not mean that the SCRUM Master need to train all team members personally, but he or she should notice the knowledge gaps and act on it if necesarry.Guide the team to high performance. The SCRUM Master does not need to have all the answers to make the team perform better, but the SCRUM Master should always try to inspire the team to aim higher than their current level.
  • Coaching on the team level is the most important coaching task of the SCRUM Master. This involves:Resolving conflicts between team members, or between team members and the PO. It is the job of the SCRUM Master to bring people that have conflicts together and coach them into resolving these conflicts.Educating the SCRUM Process. The SCRUM Master has the authority of the process that the team uses and is therefore also responsible to make sure that all people in the team have sufficient knowledge of the SCRUM proces. This does not mean that the SCRUM Master need to train all team members personally, but he or she should notice the knowledge gaps and act on it if necesarry.Guide the team to high performance. The SCRUM Master does not need to have all the answers to make the team perform better, but the SCRUM Master should always try to inspire the team to aim higher than their current level.
  • A team should constantly strive for improvements. This is basically the Plan – Do – Check – Act cycle that a team constantly needs to keep. Plan: A team decides on actions / agreementsDo: A team executes actions or work according to decided agreements.Check: Verify the resultsAct: Make improvements.Teams can get stuck into a state were they don’t do this anymore. The team just works according to the process as they know it and forget about improving it. It is the job of the SCRUM Master to constantly remind and coach the team into staying in this improvement cycle.
  • The metaphor “The High Performance Tree” is a great tool for a SCRUM Master to help the team to high performance. The tree clearly indicates what the root values of the process are, which aspects high performance teams have and what the fruits are that you will get from such teams.The High Performance Tree allows the SCRUM Master to remind the team of the goal and that they should stick with the continuous improvement cycle to aim for the highest possible.
  • The level of coaching needed for the product owner depends on the level in which the PO has already adopted agile. Product owners with an agile mindset probably hardly need any coaching.In a lot of organizations product owners have a history of being in command and control management positions. If this is the case with your product owner then he or she might need more coaching on the agile principles and on how to work together with the team.It also depends on the way agile is introduced in the company. If it is a top down introduction (management decides to start working agile) then it is very likely that the product owner is involved in an early stage of the agile adoption. If the agile introduction is done bottom up (introduced by the team) then the PO (and the organization) will need a certain level of coaching.
  • The coaching role of a SCRUM Master related to the organization depends largely of the agile adoption level of the organization and the other people in the organization that are supporting agile.In an organization were the top management or at least the direct manager(s) of the SCRUM Master are supporting agile and are capable of advocating for agile adoption in the rest of the organization, the SCRUM Master will hardly have a role in this process, other than showing the good example of what agile can bring to a team.In an organization were the introduction of agile is done bottom up (introduced by the team) the SCRUM Master is the change agent that has to convince the organization and get support in the adoption of agile within the organization.
  • Coaching is never easy. It is a very vague area since you constantly need to adapt to the situation and needs of the team and their surroundings.Most importantly is that you observe and constantly use powerful open questions to help the team members to think about the solution themselves. As a coach you try not to provide a solution but you try to inspire the team members to find their own solution.
  • Coaching is never easy. It is a very vague area since you constantly need to adapt to the situation and needs of the team and their surroundings.Most importantly is that you observe and constantly use powerful open questions to help the team members to think about the solution themselves. As a coach you try not to provide a solution but you try to inspire the team members to find their own solution.
  • 1. Radiate information. One of the ScrumMaster’s primary responsibilities is to radiate information or ensure that a team’s progress and successes are highly visible to all stakeholders, including the team itself. These radiators may take the form of various Scrum artifacts, from backlogs to burndown charts.
 2. Remove impediments. First and foremost, the ScrumMaster should do everything in his or her power to remove obstacles that are preventing the team from accomplishing its sprint goals.  3. Facilitate the continuous improvement process. Don’t let the team get into a steady state, inspire them to constantly innovate. 4. Facilitate the team. Plan the meetings, manage the discussions within the meetings, moderate the meetings and process the results of the meetings.5. Support the Product Owner. Just as the ScrumMaster removes impediments for the team, he or she also works to assist the Product Owner with various activities. These include communicating updates and impediments as well as assisting with backlog and release plan maintenance.
6. Be a team player. The best ScrumMasters are real team players, who receive as much satisfaction from facilitating others’ success as their own. They must also be comfortable surrendering control to the Product Owner and team. For those two reasons, traditional project managers don’t usually make great ScrumMasters.

  • A SCRUM Master has no authority over people, not even over the people in his / her team.A SCRUM Master cannot decide on people’s salary, employment, etc.A SCRUM Master does have full authority on the process. And all decisions related to the process are within that authority.

Transcript

  • 1. SCRUM MASTER Role & Responsibilities Joost Mulders
  • 2. SCRUM MASTERContents:• What a SCRUM Master is not.• What is a SCRUM Master? • Aspects of the role. • Responsibilities & Authority. • Personal characteristics.
  • 3. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master is not:✘ A team / project / line manager.✘ Someone with authority over team members.✘ A team lead.✘ An easy role.✘ Necessarily a team member.✘ Necessarily the most experienced team member.
  • 4. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master is not:✘ A team / project / line manager.✘ Someone with authority over team members.✘ A team lead.✘ An easy role.✘ Necessarily a team member.✘ Necessarily the most experienced team member.
  • 5. SCRUM MASTER Different Skills
  • 6. SCRUM MASTER Aspects of the role
  • 7. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 8. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 9. SCRUM MASTER | FACILITATING
  • 10. SCRUM MASTER | FACILITATINGFacilitating as a SCRUM Master: Plan and facilitate the SCRUM related meetings.  Manage the discussions.  Ensure that people keep the right focus.  Process the meeting results. Facilitate retrospective meetings. Facilitate communication between team and product owner. Establish and manage agreements within the team.
  • 11. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 12. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 13. SCRUM MASTER | SCRUM PROCESS
  • 14. SCRUM MASTER | SCRUM PROCESSEnforcing the use of SCRUM: Know and understand SCRUM and the agile mindset behind it. Ensure that the team uses SCRUM in the correct way and get them back on track if they don’t. The SCRUM Master has authority over the process. Any changes to it have to be agreed with the SCRUM Master.
  • 15. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 16. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 17. SCRUM MASTER | IMPEDIMENTSWhat is an impediment? Issues that are blocking people from completing the sprint goal.But not only blocking issues…….: Anything that is hindering the team from performing at their optimum.
  • 18. SCRUM MASTER | IMPEDIMENTSExamples of impediments My computer is not working anymore. The build server is down. Our build is too slow, it slows us down. The internet connection is too slow for video conference, only audio works. The temperature in our room is too high.
  • 19. SCRUM MASTER | IMPEDIMENTSThe SCRUM Master resolves impediments.The SCRUM Master ensures that impediments are resolved.
  • 20. SCRUM MASTER | IMPEDIMENTSThe SCRUM Master resolves impediments.The SCRUM Master ensures that impediments are resolved.
  • 21. SCRUM MASTER | IMPEDIMENTSWho to address to resolve impediments? Team members. Other departments  System administrator.  Operations. SCRUM Masters from other teams. Your agile coach. Upper management.
  • 22. SCRUM MASTER | IMPEDIMENTSHow to keep track of impediments? Make an impediment backlog. Prioritize the impediment backlog with the team and if needed the PO. Make sure the impediment backlog is at all times visible to the team. An empty impediment backlog is a bad sign.
  • 23. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 24. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 25. SCRUM MASTER | PROTECTIONProtect the team against? Outside influences and distractions. Product owner pressure. From the team.
  • 26. SCRUM MASTER | PROTECTIONProtect the team against? Outside influences and distractions. Product owner pressure. From the team.
  • 27. SCRUM MASTER | PROTECTIONProtect the team from the team? Over committing, taking more then they can handle. Complacency, don’t let the team become self satisfied.
  • 28. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 29. SCRUM MASTERA SCRUM Master: Facilitates the team. Ensures SCRUM is used as intended. Resolves impediments. Protects the team. Coaches.
  • 30. SCRUM MASTER | COACHING Coaching as a SCRUM Master
  • 31. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGCoaching? The team. The product owner. The organization.
  • 32. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGCoaching the team: Help team members resolve conflicts.  Conflicts between team members.  Conflicts between team members & PO or stakeholders. Educate (new) team members in the SCRUM Process. Guide the team to high performance.
  • 33. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGCoaching the team: Help team members resolve conflicts.  Conflicts between team members.  Conflicts between team members & PO or stakeholders. Educate (new) team members in the SCRUM Process. Guide the team to high performance.
  • 34. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGGuiding the team to high performance: The goal of each team should be to achieve high performance. The SCRUM Master coaches the continuous improvement cycle of the team.  Don’t tell the team what to do.  Inspire the team to think in possibilities instead of limitations.  Manage discussions.  Help the team to define their actions.
  • 35. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGGuiding the team to high performance.
  • 36. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGGuiding the team to high performance.The High Performance Tree (YouTube)
  • 37. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGCoaching the product owner: Amount of coaching depends on the agile adoption level of the PO. Coach the PO in learning agile principles. Help the PO with the backlog  Write stories  Prioritize  Split stories Coach the PO in the communication with the team.
  • 38. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGCoaching the organization: Depends on the agile adoption level of the organization and other coaches in the organization. SCRUM Master can be the change agent to inspire change in the organization.
  • 39. SCRUM MASTER | COACHINGTools of the SCRUM Master as a coach: Powerful observations. Powerful questions. Understanding and knowledge of agile and SCRUM. Common sense. Flexibility.
  • 40. SCRUM MASTER | COACHING Don’t provide a solution.Help the people that you coach to find their own solution.
  • 41. SCRUM MASTERResponsibilities & Authority
  • 42. SCRUM MASTER | RESPONSIBILITYResponsibilities of the SCRUM Master: Radiate information. Remove impediments. Facilitate the continuous improvement process. Facilitate the team. Support the product owner. Be a team player.
  • 43. SCRUM MASTER | AUTHORITYAuthority of the SCRUM Master: The SCRUM Master has authority over the process. The SCRUM Master has no authority over people.
  • 44. SCRUM MASTER | AUTHORITYWhat the SCRUM Master has authority of: The variables of the SCRUM process:  Grooming process.  Sprint length.  Sprint schedule.  Product owner collaboration. Ensuring people follow the agreed process. Ensuring people follow the agreed team agreements.
  • 45. SCRUM MASTER | AUTHORITYWhat the SCRUM Master has no authority of: The people within his / her team, meaning:  Their salary, bonus or secondary benefits.  Hiring / firing people. Basically everything HR related.
  • 46. SCRUM MASTER | AUTHORITY ManagementSCRUMMaster Team Organization
  • 47. SCRUM MASTERWhat a SCRUM Master needs
  • 48. SCRUM MASTER | CHARACTERISTICSWhat the SCRUM Master needs to be: Servant leader.  Have a sense of wonder. Open minded.  Agile minded. Unbiased. Collaborative. Humble. Cool minded. Enthusiastic. Honest.
  • 49. SCRUM MASTER | CHARACTERISTICSServant leadership “A servant leader looks to the needs of the people and asks himself how he can help them to solve problems and promote personal development.” - Wikipedia Mediate  Awareness Listening  Foresight Empathy  Persuasion
  • 50. SCRUM MASTER | CHARACTERISTICSHumbleA good ScrumMaster is not in it for ego. A good ScrumMaster willtake pride in achievements but the feeling will be “Look what Ihelped accomplish” rather than the more self-centered “Look what Iaccomplished.”© Mike Cohn
  • 51. SCRUM MASTER | CHARACTERISTICSEnthusiastic
  • 52. SCRUM MASTER | CHARACTERISTICSHave a sense of wonderA good SCRUM Master has a sense of wonder. Don’t think howthings will fail, think “I wonder what will happen”.Expect to be surprised.
  • 53. SCRUM MASTER | CHARACTERISTICSAgile mindedDoing Agile Being Agile
  • 54. SCRUM MASTERThe coolest job in SCRUM
  • 55. QUESTIONS