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Real life tips: Do’s and Don’ts for Scrum implementations – the ScrumMaster

Do

Have a full-time ScrumMaster for each of your teams. Why? Because, as the name suggests, if you are doing Scrum you need someone who masters all the aspects of it: Protecting the team from outside disturbances, making the team more productive, collecting data and defining KPIs on the team’s performance in order to define where the team stands and where it wants/needs to be next. Every team has a lot of contact points with stakeholders/other departments within a company – all of these contacts need to be managed and scheduled. Furthermore, the ScrumMaster is the change agent of your organization. If Marketing is still wondering, why they are getting invited to those “review meetings” every second week, you need someone to explain the Why, the How and the What.

For a ScrumMaster to be effective it has to be clear that she assumes a lateral leadership role. Protecting the team, removing impediments and constantly challenging the status quo can only be done if you stop treating the ScrumMaster role as an add-on but start treating it as a prerequisite for starting with Scrum. Here are 3 things you can do right now, to ensure the legitimacy of your ScrumMaster:

  • Stop her from writing down tasks for team members
  • Tell the team members: “If you have a problem, first ask your ScrumMaster and only if she and ultimatively the team can’t help you, ask your line manager.”
  • Take her requests seriously and give her anything she wants: a new computer for testing online features outside the company network, noise cancelling phones for team members, as many whiteboards as she wants!

Scrum is about continuous learning and continuous improvement – if you want to take full advantage of it, the ScrumMaster is a full time job!