How to be a great scrum master


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How to be a great scrum master

  1. 1. Dan Shupp CTO, Tech Propulsion Labs Copyright 2010 Tech Propulsion Labs , Inc. How to be a great Scrum Master
  2. 2. A Warning <ul><li>This is not an introduction to Scrum or Agile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I assume that you are familiar with the process, and know what this chart means </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Scrum Master responsibilities <ul><li>Responsible for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous improvement of both </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not responsible for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The business </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Scrum Master is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remover of blocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unbreakable buffer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Champion of Agile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chief connector </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>King of feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not a “Team Leader” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Builder of individual ownership </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Remover of blocks, impediments <ul><li>The Scrum Master has to create an optimal working condition for the team and is responsible for maintaining this condition </li></ul><ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dependency on people outside the team. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Missing hardware or software </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot get a key decision from the business </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems of individual Team Members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need help with debugging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot complete a task & needs help </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Devs, BAs, POs all have this problem </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems of organizational structure and expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The team or company is missing or deficient in key roles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stakeholders not respecting the process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A Scrum Master shouldn’t solve these issues himself, but he is still responsible for getting them solved. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This takes a lot of time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires great authority and courage. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Buffer for the team <ul><li>Handle management messing with the team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“just for a day”, “I need an estimate”, “answer some tech questions”, “need technical help”, “maintenance on an old project” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actually, this stuff important to the business and have to get done </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Notice I said ‘handle’ not ‘prevent’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build time for interruptions into the iteration plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule interruptions and group them together. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delay interruptions </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Champion Agile Practices <ul><li>Teams new to Agile often underapply their practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practices are mutually-reinforcing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adopt as many as you can verify </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start as close to the “book” definition as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make it easy and clear for Team Members to do their jobs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Walk new Product Owners and BAs through their job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure devs know the Definition of Done </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare people to lead standups, planning meetings, and retrospectives </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Chief Connector <ul><li>You don’t solve problems yourself…you cause them to be solved by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connecting the right people together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting the results and actions items documented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Following up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Retrospectives are good for this </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ideally you follow up earlier </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. King of Feedback <ul><li>Frequent feedback to all team members and stakeholders is the reason that Scrum and Agile work! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People don’t learn without thoughtful, helpful feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This takes a lot of time to do well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But it pays off, hugely, quickly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Scrum Master is the lead for this, and retrospectives are the method </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the PO doing his job well? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are estimates good and improving? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are we following the “Definition of Done”? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Not a “Team Leader” <ul><li>Ensure that the team obeys the rules and realizes the method of Scrum </li></ul><ul><li>Should not assign tasks, own requirements, or make decisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The SM is not responsible for task completion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is very hard in practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interfere only when the process is not being followed </li></ul><ul><li>You are the team’s coach, representative, buffer, policeman </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not the team’s director, owner, or manager </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Building individual ownership Scrum Master Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member <ul><li>Don’t ask Team Members questions, have them report </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare people ahead of time to lead their own discussions </li></ul>Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Team Member Scrum Master
  11. 11. The Scrum Master Experience <ul><li>“ On a small team with dedicated people who mostly know what they doing, the role of SM is almost invisible; on a larger team trying to cope with vague requirements and power struggles the SM will be highly visible and probably never have a moment to themselves, as they will become the lightning conductor for all the frustrations of the team (and stakeholders outside it).” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There's no substitute for knowing what you want to achieve and having a small team of people who know how to achieve it. If you have that, and you &quot;adopt SCRUM&quot;, you will probably be convinced quickly that being a Scrum Master is easy. But if instead you have a big mess of a team, and an undefined goal, and a lot of political fighting going on, and you &quot;adopt SCRUM&quot;, you will probably come away thinking that being a Scrum Master is a full-time (perhaps impossible) job requiring a combination of very rare talents. Most real teams are probably somewhere between these extremes.” </li></ul><ul><li>-From </li></ul>
  12. 12. End <ul><li>Q&A! </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly nicer picture of a Rugby Scrum: </li></ul>
  13. 13. Agile Principles <ul><li>Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage. </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. </li></ul><ul><li>Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. </li></ul><ul><li>Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. </li></ul><ul><li>The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Working software is the primary measure of progress. </li></ul><ul><li>Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. </li></ul><ul><li>Simplicity, the art of maximizing the amount of work not done, is essential. </li></ul><ul><li>The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. </li></ul><ul><li>At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. </li></ul>