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V máji a júni vás pozývame na tréningy Základy Agile a Scrum a Scrum Mastership zmysluplne.

What does Scrum Master do all day?

The article has been written by Anna Ocelakova for ScrumDesk.com.

“KEEP CALM, SCRUM MASTER IS HERE“

When I started in one of the company’s development teams, I had no experience with Scrumastership. The team was already formed and was in the “storming” phase. After coming into the team, we reset the team’s clock and started from scratch. We were working in some way of Scrum.

As a newbie, I needed some time to be comfortable with the setup and relationships going on. In the beginning, I saw some differences in what is written in the wise books and our practices. The team was great! Enthusiastic and motivated, but we were lost. We were supposed to find our own way of doing our work, and we were lucky to have a supportive boss who believed in us and was able to sell Agile to the organization at first.

Why am I writing this? So many people have asked me what I am doing all day, every day.

1. Organization

First, I started by organizing the team events and ceremonies. What does it mean?

Book the meeting room and send out the invitation to the scrum team and, in case of reviews, to stakeholders. I chose to set it up upfront so that everybody who needs to be at those ceremonies will have time and will participate.

The organization is one part of the whole process. Later comes the preparation of the agenda, topics that need to be discussed, and ensuring that a responsible person will be part of the meeting to share our thoughts and be heard. Next comes the preparation of materials and equipment needed for smooth meetings.

2. Impediments

I had been in the company for a few years, and it was my big advantage. The team on daily stand-up mentioned their blockers, impediments, or anything else that made them feel some pain. 
I need to say I was and still am a “YES“ woman. Good? Not Good? Depends on the perspective of whom you look at it. ?

My role was to remove impediments! Simple “tasks“ solved fast, in case of complex problems it took a few days. I contacted anyone who was able to help me, even my boss if needed. What was the expected result? The development team is able to work without any blockers…

3. Improvements and Research

Even though we thought we were in a good way, we also had in our heads that we could not take it for granted. Constant work on ideas for improvements through Retrospective. It was hard for me to prepare it to get a higher value as it is possible. We started with the Retrospective board and Experiment Board, which helped us to make it visible for the team and the organization. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

Scrum is a framework based on empirical process… learning by doing…TRY, FAIL, IMPROVE.

That’s what I was using, and consultancy and research were my BFF (best friends forever). I was not the technician, I spent a lot of time to get to know “our” product. I read the documentation and tried to get information with a value that helped me understand what the team was implementing. Of course, in case I didn’t completely understand or I missed something 
I was asking the team.

We need to find new techniques for ceremonies, new trends in agile, or anything helpful for us to try. I did my research.

4. Facilitation

What about all the time-mentioned facilitation? In my opinion, it is a crucial part of this job. It is hard to be quite at the right time and ask when it is needed to open a Pandora’s box. To be the one who starts the discussion regarding requirements or some emotional topic. Help them stay on track, not waste time with long discussions with no results, follow the agenda, and maintain such important time.

Last but not least, at the beginning of the meeting, set the goal and purpose.

5. Build the Relationships

How much easier is to communicate with someone you like? To cooperate with someone you have common hobbies with? Do you prefer coffee with chit-chat and a little laugh? Of course YES!

Me too! I am a relationship-based person. I had been focusing on building relationships with every team member. Taking each and everyone as an individuality who needs something different. This takes time, patience, a lot of discussions, and liters of coffee.

We started even jointly planning the trips and activities where we had fun. Gym, beer, dinner, comics, hiking, etc. I was happy to wake up every morning, go to work, be with the development team, work on our product together, and have fun. The atmosphere we created together was pleasant (not every day ? We are not robots or some sunny people), and we were happy to work in the team.

6. Metrics

I thought about what else could help us in Scrum. There are helpful metrics that can be used for visualization to be transparent and have a clear overview.

This was a clear overview not only for us but also for the product owner and Customer who was not in our office but in a different location and for everybody in the organization who was interested in our work.

We were not ashamed of what we are working on, we were proud and we didn’t want to hide it.

7. Other activities

I mentioned my boss at the beginning. He is an important person throughout the story! Why?

He was the one who made it possible and even more. Development work is creative work..you are supposed to have a creative workplace..enough time, and someone who cares! He brought a lot of ideas on how to improve things and how to make a better place to perform and grow.

We planned and organized various hackathons and conferences, and we focused on activities that helped us innovate and supported our willingness to be the ONE with value.

What I didn’t mention is mentoring and coaching. With each step, we shape our way, and we mentor and coach ourselves.
Everybody had an impact on everybody. ?

BE YOURSELF, DO YOUR BEST, FIND YOUR WAY!

Scrum Master

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