I’m a Certified ScrumMaster®! What’s Next?

Congratulations!  You are a Certified ScrumMaster®!  CoLeadTeam’s Dee Rhoda reflects on what happened after she passed the online quiz and downloaded the Certified ScrumMaster® badge. 

After about a year in the role of Scrum Master, you will have had a multitude of new experiences.  Because of opportunities to put the basic knowledge from the CSM® into practice, you may have even more questions than answers about what you should be doing.  I know that was the case for me.  When I took on my first Scrum Master role, I was fresh out of CSM® training.  I had all the basic knowledge and like most new CSMs, I focused on the Scrum Framework and making sure that the team was adhering to it.  And, that is a great start!  

What I began to notice from the team as we were closing in on the later part of our first year together, was a need for deeper coaching and facilitation from me as their Scrum Master.  The team members were past the forming stage of team development (Tuckman Model) and well into the storming phase. This is where I needed to step up my game as Scrum Master and work in a focused manner on the conflict and competition that was starting to surface.  People were beginning to feel more confident and courageous in expressing their opinions and that was great!  But, without advanced skills and techniques in facilitation to help guide the team through conversations and collaboration, the team floundered on decisions and had trouble agreeing on goals. 

As a team matures, an effective Scrum Master maintains a strong, yet neutral coaching stance.  Because the team was working towards the Norming phase of Tuckman’s team development model, I needed to coach these diverse individuals into becoming a team -  not simply existing as a group of individuals. A cohesive Scrum team recognizes more completely their individual uniqueness and how those individual talents, skills and interests could come together and focus on common goals. 

When I stepped into the role of Scrum Master, I was prepared with foundational Scrum knowledge to serve the Development Team, Product Owner and Organization.  I realized that if I was going to continue to better serve them and help them improve, I needed to continue to improve my own skills.  Sound familiar – continuous improvement?

Advanced Scrum Master skills are what I needed to improve: coaching, facilitating, team-building. I also recognized that I needed to get additional education on how to “scale” Scrum in the larger organization that I was serving.  In team level Scrum, the Scrum Master is focused on Scrum for a single product Development Team, Product Owner and how that fits into the larger Organization. When applying Scrum@Scaleâ the role of Scrum Master is still focused on helping the teams with discovering ways to continuously improve, impediment removal, and increasing communication across teams.  The difference is that as Scrum is scaled in larger organizations, there can be up to 125 teams of 5 team members!  It is critical in these environments for leadership to form an Executive Action Team (EAT). The EAT is critical to Scrum’s success in a scaled environment.

So, the question for Scrum Masters out there is “What’s next for you”? Do you want to build up your skills, knowledge and toolbox to better serve your team as a coach and facilitator?  If so, I strongly encourage you to take the next step and sign up for the Advanced-Certified Scrum Master® Class! If you want to better your education regarding scaling Scrum I highly recommend Scrum@Scale®.