How Many Scrum Masters does it take to Change a Light Bulb?

Yep – it's from the old joke about how many psychologists it takes to change a light bulb.


And the punchline remains the same: One but the light bulb has to *want* to change.

People attend Collaborative Leadership Team’s Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) courses hoping to learn to change their company. Or their Development Team members or even their leaders. And they get frustrated to learn it's not possible. These folks waste the learning opportunity hoping to learn to trick or control another person.

The only person that anyone can change is themselves.

Yes – Scrum and Agile approaches mean change. And that starts with every individual involved learning what those changes mean and then making a choice.

Once a group has made the choice to change this only happens by getting together and talking about the best way to do that. And still observe their goals, serve their customers, in the process.

How does this start? In Scrum the Scrum Master is the change agent who works as a neutral facilitator helping the people and the organization to change for the better. A Scrum Master needs people skills, people skills and more people skills! If a Scrum Master is in need of improving people skills, they may need to look outside of the Scrum framework for ideas.

Collaborative Leadership Team partners with psychologist Dr. Harvey Robbins. His book, “The New Why Teams Don’t Work”, has practical advice on identifying our own behavioral style and building plans to work better with others.

This isn't identifying personality types. It doesn’t mean ignoring personalities. It means that personalities are not always revealed in the way we behave. The way we behave with one another affects our performance (or not) as a team and as an organization.

To learn more visit our Ignite Agility podcast and learn from Dr. Harvey Robbins.

To learn from the good doctor live and in person, join us for a 1 Day workshop on “Creating High Performing Teams” April 10 at the West End Conference Center in Minneapolis.

The Secret to Being a Great ScrumMaster or Agile Coach: The People Chip

We are seeing a trend in our classes and coaching engagements.  We walk in “off the street” and immediately pinpoint the people problems.  Clients repeatedly ask “How do you know that?”  “Who is giving you this information?”   They are dumbfounded when we say “Nobody did.  We picked up on it right away.” “What is the secret to being a great scrummaster?”

ScrumMaster Certification: Answering Crucial Questions – Isn't a ScrumMaster just a Project Manager by Another Name?

In prior posts in this series, we have examined a number of crucial questions regarding the Scrum Framework and the role that a ScrumMaster plays in addressing them.  We conclude this series with an overview of how the role of ScrumMaster differs from that of a traditional Project Manager.

ScrumMaster as Facilitators: More than Standing at the Front of the Room

One of the most common questions we at Collaborative Leadership Team (a Certified Agile Consultancy) receive when coaching clients on Scrum is, “How can I best facilitate a Team during one of the Scrum Ceremonies?”  While this question is being raised in a Scrum context, the ideas outlined in this blog are really applicable to any successfully facilitating any meeting.