How to Become a Better Scrum Master? | Will Jeffrey | Skillshare

How to Become a Better Scrum Master?

Will Jeffrey, Professional Agile Trainer

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8 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Welcome

      1:51
    • 2. Empower Yourself & Others

      4:23
    • 3. Influence Others

      2:57
    • 4. Servant Lead

      1:20
    • 5. Listen More

      1:31
    • 6. Plant Seeds

      2:34
    • 7. Positive Thinking

      3:26
    • 8. Conclusion

      2:04

About This Class

I've heard from time to time that a ScrumMaster is just a facilitator, or just a coach. I disagree; rather, I feel that the ScrumMaster must have business sense, communication skills, tact, and political savvy in order to have the slightest chance at a successful transition.

According to Dr. Rafael Landaeta: The perfect ScrumMaster would probably have advanced degrees in engineering, business, sociology, education, and in psychology, and have worked as change agent and manager of projects with different degrees of uncertainty in different industries and sectors, and would have the energy of a teenager, the spirit of a sport champion and the wisdom of a crowd of experts.

– Dr. Rafael E. Landaeta, Old Dominion University

This might be overwhelming, so first realize that not all changes are revolutions. You can implement change in baby steps simply by implementing the Scrum framework, escalating obstacles, and reflecting on your personal growth.

It can also help to understand what else you can do to be a better ScrumMaster for your team. By doing so, you will become a better change agent.

In this course, I will be discussing 6 areas where a Scrum Master can improve to become better:

  • Empower, yourself and others.
  • Influence others, by using information.
  • Servant lead: it’s time to roll up your sleeves.
  • Listen more than talk: don’t jump to conclusion.
  • Plant seeds, and let ideas germinate.
  • Focus on the positive: choose to be happy.

I hope this course will be show helpful for you in your Agile journey.


References:

  • The Great ScrumMaster #ScrumMasterWay - Zuzana Šochová
  • Scrum mastery from good to great servant-leadership - Geoff Watts

Transcripts

1. Welcome: I've heard from time to time that a scrum master is just a facilitator for just a coach. I disagree. Rather, I feel that the scrum master must have business sense, communication skills, tact and political savvy in order to have the slightest chance at a successful transition. According to Dr Raphael landed a The perfect scrum master would probably have advanced degrees in engineering, business, sociology, education and in psychology and have worked as change agent and manager of projects with different degrees of uncertainty in different industries and sectors and would have the energy of a teenager, the spirit of a sport champion and the wisdom of a crowd of experts. This might be overwhelming, so first realized that not all changes air revolutions. You can implement change in baby steps simply by implementing the scrum framework, escalating obstacles and reflecting on your personal growth. It can also help to understand what else you can dio to be a better scrum master for your team. By doing so, you will become a better change agent. In this course, I will be discussing six areas where scrum master can improve to become better. These are in power yourself in others influence others by using information. Servant lead It's time to roll up your sleeves. Listen more than talk. Don't jump to conclusion plant seeds and let ideas germinate. And lastly, focus on the positive. Choose to be happy. I hope this course will be show helpful for your agile journey. 2. Empower Yourself & Others: The first step for a scrum master is to help people realize that empowerment is there right in front of them. All they have to do is reach up and pluck it. It's natural for people to resist change. And folks in the slough of despond don't always readily seize power when it's dangled in front of them. Existing traditions, customs, beliefs and personality traits can hold them back. It's quite easy, really, to say I'm empowered. Just move your lips. But to believe is a different story. Many teams fear taking chances. This fear can diminish or prevent the ability to take risks, which dampens experimentation, which ultimately means that potential may not be realized. One reason for this lack of courage is that teams feel that management doesn't trust them. For one reason or another, they've been made to feel as if they must run every little decision past a manager for approval. One way to help instill a courageous environment is to help the team make the distinction and what the team own and when the team must go outside for help. The team owned the work in the sprint. They decide how it gets done, supporting the team to make their own decisions demonstrates trust, which builds courage, empowerment and morel questions such as What can we do about this obstacle or what would you guys suggest to management? That we do in this circumstance can help a team realize that they're indeed entitled to solve their own problems. I plan to run interference for your team to back up their decisions, encourage a fail fast mindset and create the safety for the team. To do so, create a culture or environment and your team in which team members feel safe to voice concerns or resistance. You want the opposing viewpoint. You want the devil's advocate so that all facets of the problem and solution are considered . Never punish someone for making her concerns or beliefs known, rather encourage her. Welcome the opposing viewpoint and ask the team what they would like to try next. Additionally, make the new way as easy as possible for people to implement. Help them understand why they might want to do things differently. Edward de Bono, in the six thinking hats, encourages people to think about problems from multiple perspectives. Try this in one of your team meetings, bring six hands to the meeting. White data read. Emotion Yellow positive green Creative blue process Black Cautious slash risk. Each team member gets a hat and the color they choose to picks. The thinking style with which they lead they can trade hats and future meetings has helped team members feel free to question support or change an idea to fit their needs. Empowerment comes in many forms. It might simply show up is an ability to speak one's mind. And for a person who is normally reserved, this may be a huge step. I observe one scrum master who seized power by deciding to interview various stakeholders to find out what kinds of metrics and reports they need. Nobody asked the scrum master to do this. She just decided to do it. Empowerment moves us from the reactive to the proactive, looking out for the next decision to make the next understanding to glean empowerment squishes, inertia. Let's face it, some of us are more courageous than others. So what do you do? Move yourself beyond your comfort zone? Set a goal that lives beyond your current abilities. Tell someone else so that it becomes more than just a ny idea. For example, maybe you're intimidated to run the scrum of scrums meeting. Set a goal for yourself that you will volunteer to do it next month and tell the other scrum master's about your goal. Prepare by reading looking at burned down charts, observing this month's meetings and then do it. You will learn so much by taking the leap and you won't look back soon you will wonder what made you so nervous in the first place. 3. Influence Others: information is one of the best influencers in the world. It's reality, it's the truth, and the team can make better decisions by knowing it. It's not necessarily what people want to hear, but this is business, after all, not utopia. If a burned down chart indicates that a team sprint is running off the rails, nobody can argue with that. Data influences team members. Air moved to action by data that shows their progress toward their goals. Management and executives. Air called to action by data presented in the form of dollar signs. People don't realize the issues their behavior causes until you put it in terms that they understand. It's not that they're bad people. They just don't understand the impact of their actions. I once had a senior level executive who kept interrupting my team for his own personal pet projects. I put together a quick cost worksheet showing the monetary impact of his interruptions on our highest priority delivery bubbles and the behavior stopped another influence, or is your mindset and attitude adopt A Why can't we attitude instead of one that winds? Why we can't change the way you think about change model of positive attitude and you'll start to see others around. You pick up on that anything I mean, anything is possible. Make up your mind that you're going to do it and then convince others that's all. A positive person inspires positive feelings in others exude an open mind set. And don't take yourself so seriously. Your team will feel as if they can approach you because you're humble, trustworthy because you're open and supportive of their needs. Because you listen an exhibit that you could be approached about anything. Yet another way to influence is a simple two letter word. No, this word is not said enough. It's amazing how powerful this word is and yet how difficult it is for some of us to say it , saying no creates boundaries that necessitate new responses, saying no and meaning it asserts control in power. One way to say no and scrum is when someone asks for a new feature during the middle of a sprint that's underway. One's natural inclination is to help out. But understanding that mid sprint changes cause chaos is a good reason to say. Put it on the product backlog and prioritize it near the top. If it's that important. It's the same thing of saying no, but gives the person a place to put their ideas so that it's not lost. This simple statement, he's is much tension and assures the person that they're idea will be reviewed and possibly prioritized by the product owner for inclusion at some point in the future. 4. Servant Lead: Robert Greenleaf coined the servant leader in 1970. Although the concept has been around for hundreds of years, a person leads by serving by giving priority attention to serving the needs of others. Being a scrum master is a thankless job. If you are looking for the spotlight in the applause, the scrum master job is not the job for you. A scrum master conserve his team in many ways and must be comfortable with being a stagehand, not an actor. A scrum master is not in the limelight and is happy when the team receives the accolades. After all, they did the work. The servant leader just cleared the path. Servant leaders scrum Masters do whatever it takes to help a team be successful. They update the backlog when team members failed to do so and gently remind them to take care of his task in the future. They fight battles with management and push for change when they know it's required, they shield the team from the free and do everything possible to set the team up for success. Servant leaders Aaron Trust and the ability to influence 5. Listen More: Sometimes when someone comes to me to complain or to discuss a tough situation, I'll let them talk and talk and talk. Usually, if they keep talking, they'll end up talking themselves into an answer. At the very least, even if they can't solve the problem themselves, they will feel as if they have been heard and I'll have a better understanding of the problem. People are too often quick to solve the problem for others, especially if they come from a management background. I once worked with development teams in New York who had colleagues in Bangalore. The New Yorkers were complaining that the bangle or team members just weren't up to par. Instead of jumping to conclusions and passing premature judgment, the scrum master and I asked people what the issues were on both sides and listen to the responses. We even ran it anonymous survey to gather additional information. What we learned was fascinating. It wasn't that people had subpar skills. Rather, there were many communications issues on both sides of the world. The minute we stop listening and jump to a conclusion is the moment we've closed the door to other viewpoints and solutions in an environment in which we're trying to create empowered teams, listening is everything 6. Plant Seeds: you'll find that teams will struggle from time to time some more than others. Your plan. Seeds ideas that may grow into action at some point in the future. I've worked with a few teams that go into sprints with the waterfall mentality. They figure that they'll code for the first part of the sprint and throw it to the testers in the second part of the Sprint. This is pretty common as it's the work pattern that most new and are comfortable with. They simply do not know another way in which to work. They'll quickly realize, however, that future sprints are impacted because of overflow defects, sometimes jeopardizing an entire sprint because they're unable to finish their stories according to the definition of done. But they still don't realize how to get out of this old behavior. So in a retrospective or maybe a team lunch, I'll ask the team. Have you considered that perhaps the stories air too large? Or have you entertained the thought of pairing a developer and tester toe work on the story in tandem? Eyes glaze over lunch chatter grows silent. Maybe some eyeballs roll, and perhaps nobody bites on the idea. I'll continue to mention these ideas at any opportunity I get. Maybe I'll follow up by sending a link to an article about extreme programming practices with a note that says, Read this for discussion at the next retrospective. I just keep planting the seeds. All of a sudden, when you least expect it, you'll notice a sprout from that seed that you planted. It may be in a daily scrum when a developer turns to the tester and says You found all those defects in my commit yesterday. Can we get together after the meeting and work together to quickly resolve this? I can't seem to reproduce the issues you found. Well, uh, paring commences. The seed has sprouted. These breakthroughs may seem minor, and maybe you don't even notice them as they're happening. But they're not minor. The developer and tester work together, quickly, resolved the issues and report in the next daily meeting that all is working fine. In the retrospective, they mention, how will this approach worked for them and others take notice and try it themselves. The next thing you know, the entire mindset of the team has changed. Planned many seeds and water the heck out of them. Some will take root eventually 7. Positive Thinking: do you get out of bed each day and say, I'm going to make this a great day no matter what happens. Most of us don't say it to the reflection in the bathroom mirror, but maybe we should positive thinking that is a conscious choice to be happy, influences different actions and behaviors. If I'm in a bad mood one morning and I decided to dwell in that state of mind, an email from my boss asking for a status report won't be well received. I'll probably grumble my way through it, loading the entire thing, questioning why I have to do this. However, if I stop for a moment and say to myself, I'm going to do the very best on this status report that I can. I'll find that my actions of creating the reporter energized, motivated and the outcome probably better. As a result, keep in mind that a positive attitude should not be mistaken for blind optimism. Rather, it simply is telling yourself that I'm going to make the best out of this situation, no matter the situation. The reality may very well be that the situation is daunting, stressful and negative, but you create a wall of positivity around you so that you don't get sucked into it. I encourage scrum masters to celebrate small victories. For example, talk about how hard the team worked when you're introducing the Sprint Review or bringing donuts one morning just because or say, Thanks for all of your hard work at the end of a daily meeting, One of the most positive exercises I've ever observed is called appreciations, basically, in a retrospective, each team member in the room thanks another for something that they did that spread. I have seen people brought to tears in this meeting simply from the positive nature and the happiness that people feel when they hear how much they're appreciated. Little things like this go a long way toward building and open, trusting and ultimately productive team. If we can make the most out of any situation, choose our attitude, we can go through life being happier. Happy means we have a general feeling of well being that all is well in the world and were subsequently kind to others. Being happy means we're approachable and from a leadership perspective, we need to be approachable in order to be effective 8. Conclusion: we covered the six areas where scrum master can become better. Let's review them quickly. Empower yourself and others. We saw the need of encouraging a fail fast mindset and creating the safety for the team to do so. Influence others by using information in this part we were invited to adopt a Why can't we attitude instead of one that winds? Why we can't We also emphasized the need of saying no and meaning it to assert control in power. Servant lead. It's time to roll up your sleeves. In summary, a servant leader does whatever it takes to help a team be successful. Listen more than talk. Don't jump to conclusion I take away from this part is the minute we stop listening and jump to a conclusion is the moment we've closed the door to other viewpoints and solutions . Listening is everything. Plant seeds and let ideas germinate. We plant ideas by asking questions, as have you considered that we've been encouraged to plant many seeds and water the heck out of them. Some will take root eventually, and lastly, focus on the positive choose to be happy, positive thinking that is a conscious choice to be happy influences, different actions and behaviors. Scrum Istres Air urged to celebrate small victories by bringing doughnuts were just saying Thank you for your hard work. Leadership is developed, not discovered. A good scrum master has to climb the different levels of influence to achieve a good to great mindset. Overall, the most important thing you can do is a scrum. Master is be attentive to how you can improve your role but also how you can help your team improve too. Be humble patient alert and consider it and you will become the best scrum Master, you want to be in that your team needs you to be