In the previous episode, we shared tips on how to help teams self-organize and how to work with, and change the culture in organizations.
In this episode, we talk about the transformation we need to go through as Scrum Masters after obtaining the basic training. How the training we have is necessary, but not sufficientto face the challenges that we need to face in our roles. We start this episode talking about the need to reflect on our own journey, and Marc shares with us a guide to self-reflection which you can download here.
Scrum Master training is necessary, but not sufficient to deal with the challenges Scrum Masters must face
— Scrum Master Journey, Marc Löffler
The most important part of your success as a Scrum Masters
This is episode 1 of a series of episodes dedicated to the content, and the steps of the Scrum Master Journey, a program hosted by our guest: Marc Löffler.
The Scrum Master Journey (SMJ) is a program designed to help you succeed as Scrum Master. Marc joins us to explain what that SMJ program includes, and share some first-hand stories of how this program has already helped many Scrum Masters in practice.
We start this episode by reflecting on the observation that the Scrum Master role has become a profession, with specific training needs, as well as a specific type of tasks that come with it. These tasks, and responsibilities are different from many other roles in the product development space, and therefore require a specific journey of learning and practicing. A Scrum Master Journey!
Marc has written several books on the Scrum Master role, and he is also the host of a Scrum Master focused program, that cuts through the weeds of the many different things a Scrum Master must learn and helps us go through a journey designed to get us ready for the challenges ahead.
The chaos of new ideas that Scrum Masters must understand and apply
We start this episode by talking about why it is important to have a specific focus on your first 90 days when working with a new team. The first 90 days are all about setting yourself up for success, and that requires that you take certain actions.
Start preparing before you start helping
Rahul suggests that we start preparing for our new role as a Scrum Master by asking specific questions (even in the job interview if that’s the case). Rahul suggests that to understand the expectations placed on you, you must understand what others have done before, what the team might be struggling with, but also how the context around the team works. What are the hierarchies, what do the team expect the Scrum Master to do, and more!
Do the Gemba: a critical step for your success as a Scrum Master
The gemba (a term from Lean that means “the place where the work happens”) walk is all about seeing with your own eyes, and talking directly to the people that you will be working with, or that your work will depend on. It’s important for Scrum Masters that are getting started that they not only talk to the team, but also to the stakeholders of the team, and possibly other teams that represent dependencies for the team you are trying to help.
See the system: looking beyond software development
Finally, the third step in this structured approach to the first 90 days with a new team, is all about what’s around the team that you need to deal with, even if it is not at the core of what the team does. This is “the systemic view” or context for the team. Rahul shares some critical questions we should ask ourselves (and those around the team), so that you can understand what kind of pressure and expectations are placed on the team.
Mega tips to close off this episode (make sure you listen all the way to the end)
Once we review the 3 main activities to prepare your Scrum Master assignment successfully, we dive into some of the tips that Rahul has collected over the years as an Agile Coach and Scrum Master. Rahul shares some critical insights that will help you overcome the most common challenges Scrum Masters face when taking on a new team.
Rahul Bhattacharya is currently working as an Agile Coach at Delivery Hero. He is responsible for optimizing the ways of working within the organization, coaching others on best practices while simultaneously guiding teams working on different products. Rahul is passionate about constant learning through experimentation and feedback