As a Beginning Scrum Master- I don't just take notes...

Scrum, Daily Scrum, Refinement, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, Sprint, Stand Up, Kanban, Lean, Black Belt..

The list goes on and on. When I started as a ScrumMaster it felt like my head was spinning between the technology terms like “on-prem”, Java and lambdas. Jumping from event management into the world of Scrum is an adventure that continues to teach me new words and ways of work. So let’s break down some of the things that can happen as a beginning ScrumMaster.

You get asked to take notes and set up meetings: This was my first encounter in the Scrum-world. I readily stepped up, excited to learn about making positive change and delighting the customers. Then I quickly become bored and wanted more voice in the conversations going on. Why was that? Just an incorrect role? Misalignment of responsibilities? Did I misunderstand the Certified ScrumMaster class I went to?  

None of the above. As it turns out, a ScrumMaster is not supposed to take notes or set up meetings. Yes, they can help in that way, but so can anyone on the team. As a ScrumMaster, I’ve found that my actual responsibilities include watching and listening for that moment in conversations when things dive too deep, go off-topic or everyone seems to be losing interest. They also include asking the hard questions, like why are we doing this in the first place? What problem are we trying to solve?

In the Daily Scrum or Stand Up in particular, this involves asking questions like, “Are we going to complete the work we initially committed to? If no, why not? Should we really be bringing in different work? Does the Product Owner know that we won’t make our commitment? Why aren’t we swarming to get the work done together, as a team?”

Being a ScrumMaster doesn’t automatically make anyone an expert, specialist or even good at facilitation, strategy or communication. This looks different for each person and each company. However, becoming a ScrumMaster has allowed me to see why facilitation isn’t about taking notes and scheduling meetings. Or how strategy isn’t just high-level executive work, but something that teams need to use in every day development. It has also shown me that communication is so important when it comes to persuading a team to take a risk.

Have you ever thought about how one role can be armchair psychologist and courageous proponent of change at the same time? The Certified ScrumMaster class explains how our interactions directly impact the work being done for our organizations. It teaches us that first we need to trust ourselves, our teams and our organizations and the ScrumMaster is a key part of that.

If you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with our team or see the upcoming classes on the calendar.