This post is about tips that can help Scrum Masters to thrive in any development team they are assigned. Even if you qualify as a Scrum Master, the tips in this post will help you in your quest to lead your team members to success.
Just like most IT professionals and technical writers from writers department, you might also know a thing or two about the iterative software development practice called Scrum. But have you ever applied the knowledge and techniques to projects that make you happy? Whatever may be the answer in your mind, know that you can catch your corner as a Scrum Master and get things done in the right manner. Not convinced? We have made available incredible tips that will make you become on in no time. So, get ready to read through and put the tips on this post to work, for best results on your projects.
Let the team know about planned changes
As far as a development project is concerned, the Scrum Master remains the facilitator. He or she manages the exchange of information between team members and every other person involved in the project. But even as the Scrum Master, accepting planned changes on behalf of the team members working on the project should never be allowed.
The size of the project should also not change this stance. Whether it is a small or large project, the team members have to be consulted first to give their approval or say their minds. There might be times when you might think accepting the request on behalf of them might be right because you know the teams capacity and believe they can handle the project, but understand that doing so may hurt the project.
Instead of accepting the proposal that the team members can work to fulfill the request made, say, “the team has to come together to decide to take a decision.” Also, to catch your corner as a Scrum Master, the team members should never be committed to deliverables, deadlines or anything that concerns them without their knowledge. You have to first talk with them even before accepting any of such requests.
Usually, the whole team needs to be available so that it will be a consensus decision-making process. But if the entire team members are not available, discuss with the principal members around.
Know your place in the team
The Scrum Master is vital in any development project involving a team. In fact, the team’s performance hinges on them. So everything the team does to ensure the project comes out as planned depends on you.
To catch your corner as a Scrum Master, understand that your goal is to make the entire team look good by delivering stunning performance. It is not about making you look good. Of course, the Scrum Master receives some accolades when the group performs well at the end of the day. So, have at the back of your mind that whenever your team looks good, you will also look good.
There are occasions where you might be doing your job well as a Scrum Master, and others will start thinking the team no longer needs the help of a Scrum Master since it is functioning well. You should not be surprised this happens in many organizations. They sometimes forget about the impact the Scrum Master is having on the team. In this type of situation, only an experienced and knowledgeable manager will understand your impact on the team members.
Perform product backlog implementation effort together
As the Scrum Master, your primary focus should be to get everyone involved in the project together and avoid a bridge of communication. And not just the team members, you also need to carry the customer along.
When you are through developing the Product Backlog together with the team members then, let the customer witness the estimation process from start to finish. The customer will have the opportunity to be part of the discussions and questions surrounding the project, and also provide direct answers where necessary.
Where there might be complexity, everyone would be available to detect it and have a mutual understanding concerning the estimations provided.
Determine the product backlog’s business value together
After estimating the implementation effort of the product backlog together, the Scrum Master needs to do the same for the business value of the product backlog. Although this decision is up to the stakeholders to make, the Scrum Master can assist the team to facilitate the process.
So, after evaluating the implementation effort, call the stakeholders’ attention to the business value. And also facilitate them to discuss the terms and come up with a business value for each Product Backlog Item that is making use of business value points. However, one benefit this will have on the project is that the stakeholders and everyone concerned will understand the priorities of the development project. They may also start paying more attention to the Product Backlog instead of allowing the Product Owner to champion the responsibility alone.
Know how and when to check in
The Scrum Master must understand how to determine what is going on within the team without getting in the way of the micromanagement structure that may already be in place. To perform this successfully, the Scrum Master needs to understand how to check in on the team.
To check in involves understanding the progress of the project, identifying any possible obstacle and proffering the right solution. The Scrum Master will have to provide real help with thesis so that the team can overcome any potential distraction or barrier impeding the progress of the project. Also casting blame for any mishap should be discouraged. Ensure the team has the right backing to fix any problem or task given to them.
As the Scrum Master, you need to understand that difference between the word checking in and checking up. While checking in involves knowing what is impeding the progress of the project and offering real help, checking up means you want to know if someone has executed a plan as agreed.
Get rid of the impediments
As the Scrum Master, let each day end with all visible impediments cleared. Doing this will give the team an opportunity to start the next day’s work knowing there won’t be any serious issue that would cause a significant delay. But understand that you cannot clear all the impediments at once. Some might require more time and a little trick to get rid of entirely.
However, you need to attempt to remove impediments at the end of every working day. Aspire to make things easier for your team to accomplish the task assigned to them.
Boost your knowledge and skills
Scrum Masters have a lot of work on their hands to do. Remember, the ability of the team to abide by the agile practices and achieve its goal rests on your shoulders. So, as a Scrum Master, you need to develop your technical knowledge and skills. And if you encounter something you don’t know, make an effort to learn it.
Find out how to tackle major technical issues that may arise during project execution. When you understand the problem and threat it might cause with the help of your technical knowledge, it would be easier to educate everyone in the organization that cares to know. However, the best Scrum Masters are mostly those who have a broad knowledge of the market, opportunities, and challenges that a specific product has.
The Scrum Master does not take all the credit for the success of any project. The credit goes to the team. The Scrum Master receives positive comments for guiding the team to abide by the working plan and principles for the execution of the project. But the success of the project still rests on the Scrum Master. And to a large extent, it depends on the individual’s technical knowledge, experience, and understanding of the role he or she has to play in making the team function optimally. And if you are an aspiring Scrum Master, the above tips can help you become successful.