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What a scrum master really does by Rowan Bunning

What a scrum master really does by Rowan Bunning

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Are you trapped in a hamster wheel of meetings, updating tracking tools, trying to keep stories progressing and generally being the “Scrum secretary” for everything that others are not doing themselves? Whilst you might be aware that this is not the most effective way to spend your time, you may not know how to transition out of this situation and what the more impactful activities are to transition to.

In this session we will explore what the most effective Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches focus on as well as some strategies for freeing up your time and building your skills in order to make a much bigger difference for your Scrum Team and surrounding organisation.

Are you trapped in a hamster wheel of meetings, updating tracking tools, trying to keep stories progressing and generally being the “Scrum secretary” for everything that others are not doing themselves? Whilst you might be aware that this is not the most effective way to spend your time, you may not know how to transition out of this situation and what the more impactful activities are to transition to.

In this session we will explore what the most effective Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches focus on as well as some strategies for freeing up your time and building your skills in order to make a much bigger difference for your Scrum Team and surrounding organisation.

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What a scrum master really does by Rowan Bunning

  1. 1. What a Scrum Master really does Beyond project admin and maximising velocity… Rowan Bunning CST, July 2021
  2. 2. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com My Agile journey 2005 2006 2008 2018 2017 2015 2010 • 2001 Introduced to eXtreme Programming in Smalltalk • 2003 Introduced Scrum and became a Scrum Maste r • 2005 Went on fi rst Certi fi ed ScrumMaster course in Australia • 2006 Became fi rst Certi fi ed Scrum Professional in Australia • 2006 Unsuccessful attempt to fi nd Agile Coaching work in Australia • 2007 Hired as an Agile Coach at top Scrum consultancy in London • 2008 Worked mainly as a Scrum Master in London and Dublin • 2008 Became a Certi fi ed Scrum Trainer • 2008-2019 Scrum Training and Agile Coaching across AU and NZ • 2018 One of world’s fi rst Certi fi ed Agile Leadership credential II (CAL II) • 2018 First Path to CSP Educator in AU with Advanced Certi fi ed ScrumMaster (A-CSM) • 2019 Approved to teach CSP-SM completing the Path to CSP
  3. 3. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Results from Sydney 25 June 2018
  4. 4. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Results from Melbourne 23 July 2018
  5. 5. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Scrum Secretary?
  6. 6. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Busy work? Coffee runs?
  7. 7. – The Scrum Guide (November 2020) “The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness.” “Scrum Masters are true leaders who serve the Scrum Team and the larger organization.”
  8. 8. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com From the original Certi fi ed ScrumMaster training material by Ken Schwaber - 2006 • Replace “The Contract Game” with customer collaboration • No intermediaries e.g. project/delivery managers • Teach the Product Owner inc. full lifecycle product economics • Humanist, cultivate people • High agency team, bounded autonomy • Power re-distribution change agent • Impediment removal facilitator • Theory Y: remove inhibits motivation • Elimination of “Undone” & Water-Scrum-Fall • Team end-to-end cross-functional • Agile tech practices Continuous Integration etc. Implications
  9. 9. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Focus off velocity, focus on impact  Ideas, Output, Outcome and Impact Features Usability enhancements Optimisations User tutorials etc. Repeated use Pains relieved Gains realised Stakeholders satisfied etc. Increased market share Increased revenue Cost savings Bottom line results Impact Outcome Output Agile is about discovering and delivering the minimum output to achieve the desired outcome and impact. Users / Customers Deliverables Deliverables Time Ideas Feature ideas Enhancement ideas PBIs Specifications etc. Hypotheses ? ? ?
  10. 10. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Scrum Master in three words capability improvement leader inside out change Scrum Team Organisation distributed at Gemba value creation i.e. the real place where the work is done
  11. 11. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com  What a Scrum Master does 2. Improve Transparency 3. Improve Flow Lead adoption of  good Scrum 1. Impediment  removal Technical  practices Workflow Artefacts Transparency of progress inc.  product outcomes and  capability improvement Org. systems impacting  effectiveness Effectiveness of  interactions Empirical  Control Understanding  including Why Teamwork A Scrum Master does not A Scrum Master does Co-ordinates with others outside the team ✔ Teaches the team how to track and manage progress themselves Spend most of their time on admistration ✔ Spends most of their time on improvement change Do ongoing reporting ✔ Leads change toward Scrum being self-reporting Assign tasks ✔ Teaches the team how to allocate tasks to themselves Manage progress ✔ Teaches the team how to co-ordinate with others Tell the team how to deal with a situation ✔ Coaches the team to determine how it will deal with a situation Make product or development decisions ✔ Facilitates the team to make decisions that they are committed to Learning What a Scrum Master does
  12. 12. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com CHANGE AGENT SERVANT-LEADER MANAGER FACILITATOR TEACHER COACH MENTOR REFLECTIVE OBSERVER IMPEDIMENT REMOVER Scrum Masters skills and deliberate stances
  13. 13. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Majority of time on impediments Essential Scrum, Ken Rubin
  14. 14. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Thanks to Michael James. Organisational Impediment Impediment name: Surface issue: Business impact: Emotional impact: Underlying causes: (Ask “why” up to 5 times or use Causal Loop Diagramming) Intervention point: Clear, actionable request: Cost of not resolving this Structured Analysis e.g. Ishikawa, 5 whys, Causal Loop Diagramming
  15. 15. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Scrum Master is a blue-print for what manager / leader is in progressive management self-management cross-functional servant-leadership lean values-based humanistic networks over hierarchies Theory Y coach bureaucracy elimination
  16. 16. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Conclusion 1 The Scrum Master role remains widely misunderstood It’s on us to more effectively educate about our rol e It starts with us!
  17. 17. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Conclusion 2 Too few Scrum Masters with the skills and con fi dence to effectively meet the challenges It’s our responsibility to advance our own developmen t 2 days of training is completely insuf fi cient
  18. 18. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Upgrade yourself so that you can lead upgrading others
  19. 19. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com Professional Development Path from Scrum Alliance Certi fi ed ScrumMaster® Understanding Scrum and starting in a Scrum friendly environment Advanced Certi fi ed ScrumMaster ℠ ScrumMaster skills to be effective serving Scrum Team in a challenging environment Certi fi ed Scrum Professional®-ScrumMaste r Tools to improve the organisational system from the Scrum Team out More info: scrumwithstyle.com/a-csm
  20. 20. @rowanb © 2018-21 Scrum WithStyle scrumwithstyle.com • Team Launch • Lean Thinking • Advanced Facilitation • Coaching • Outcome and Impact • Systems Thinking • Structures for Scaling • Software Craftsmanship • Scrum Mastery • 5 Assignments • Core Facilitation • Teaching Scrum and Agile • Servant-Leadership • Team Dynamics • Core Coaching • Impediment Resolution Facilitation • Development Practices • Scaling Principles • Organisational Change • Your Development Path Advanced ScrumMaster Offerings scrumwithstyle.com/a-csm

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