4 Rules of Successful Scrum Masters

Simin has decided to join a new company after two years to gain new experiences. She was a very successful Scrum Master in her previous role. The manager who hired her, asked her, “Everything is messy here and our team is frustrated, and I’m asking you to organize the planning, meetings, and process of the team… you have to find a solution to get things organized”. She was so passionate about making it happen. She started to facilitate various meetings. But after a while, she felt that the team has not accepted her and she was completely ostracized. She was feeling miserable and felt that she could not make the changes that she has been asked for.

Have you been in this situation? How to will you persuade or push the team to change?

Rule #1: Don’t try to push or inflict the change

The idea that you can push the change to the people is a wrong idea. Think about creating an attraction around the change.

Rule #2: Don’t start the change from day one, First try to enter the team and be part of them

Most of the time, people don’t have a problem with the change, they have a problem with you as a change agent

Consider this situation, somebody comes from outside and plays the superman role, it seems good, but on another side, it has a message for the team: “Hey miserable guys, hey incompetent guys, hey broken guys, Superman is here to help you…”

It’s crucial to get to know them and let them know you before offering any help. Try to understand what is going on there, and respect what happened before you. Don’t try to say everything is broken here and you should fix things. Each system has a history, try to discover the history of that system and team.

Imagine your team is “ Undamaged, resourceful, and not in need of fixing”,

It is a poison mindset for an Agile Coach: This team is broken, They are incompetent, They are unable to do anything we’re the superhero and because of us they’re going to be great and successful and without us, they’ll fail. You have to be able to see your team as fully competent. They can do this with or without you. You have the honor of being there to partner with them and they’re great.

Rule #3: Don’t be the manager’s scrum master

Do you just follow the manager’s or your agendas? This is a common mistake among scrum masters, they are just following their agenda or the agenda of the manager that has hired them.

You are part of the team and you are not an external entity, or at least you should not act so that team members start to think you are not one of them. You are here to help/guide/facilitate/lead them to be excellent and You are not here to just follow your line manager’s orders. Start with something the team cares about.

Rule #4: Do not try to convince everyone

Most of the time we start to convince everyone, but it’s not possible to make everyone align with you. Instead, try to start with someone who would like to try new things. Don’t try to argue about practices, most of the time these are just a sort of a waste of time. Demonstrate success and let them see the result. In many cases, you and some motivated team members need to act as a role-model to show the success of a practice or an idea.

For example, if we want to adopt code review in our development process, we can start with someone who would like to learn new things from other team members, and after a while ask her for feedback.

Don’t hesitate to share your idea with me about the change process.

Regards

Asad

Originally published at http://factfulagility.com on January 12, 2021.

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