Chronicles of a Scrum master #1 : The beginning

In the beginning

My journey as a scrum master began in the month of November 2020.

Having successfully completed and delivered a project on a sales and operational planning system, that same system was earmarked to transition to a product that will be the first agile implementation in my organization.

The learning curve was more steep than expected as agile was totally new to me at the time.

What was a sprint, how do we do retros, what kind of KPIs there were …. and more importantly, what does a scrum master do ? .. How do I get it right ?

Scrum Sprint Pilot

All this thoughts were running through my mind. Luckily for me, the same project team members who went underwent the same project were with me for the transition from a project team to scrum team as well.

ICAgile | International Consortium for Agile

And there was also a training held on ICAgile Agile Fundamentals certification which got me recognized as a servant leader in the agile scrum that we were going to implement.

As this was going to be our pilot implementation of an Agile product within the organization, there were some expectations to be met from the management. However, this was also meant to be a learning exercise for the product governance team for implementation across the organization.

There are so many things that I learnt along the way as a beginner scrum master. Some of which I share below for your reading pleasure :

Creating a High-Performing Agile Team
  1. Get to know your team : this will evidently not happen overnight. The trust and relationship will build upon itself as time passes by. If you are starting fresh as a scrum master, always remember that your priority is the team itself which comprises of the product manager, product owner and scrum team members. The objective is to ensure that the team knows you and you know them.

    You can do it by spending a sprint retro or sprint zero to introduce yourself and the team can introduce themselves. Don’t try to absorb everything on the first day. Just take it casual and make jokes etc. Break the ice and warm their hearts 🙂

  2. Quality of the stories are important, rather than timelines and dates : Much akin to a fairy tale, there must be a beginning and an end. In the case of user stories, the fairy tale is that of what needs to be built in the beginning and in the end, the outcome. The role of the product owner is to ensure that the expected outcome is clear throughout the sprint for the builders (or developers) and to overcome any ambiguity. Scrum master need to also review the user stories in terms of the description and acceptance criteria to ensure that builders do not have any doubts.

  3. Team discipline : For a scrum team to be effective, the team members especially the builders need to ensure that they understand and be brave enough to take up stories and receive any feedbacks or criticisms and improve upon them. The goal of daily stand ups is to ensure the team members are not blocked by anything and can complete the user stories without any doubt.

    As you grow along with the team, scrum master will see incremental improvements over the deliveries from the team. Again, don’t expect things to change overnight. Give it time and let the team gradually grow along with you.
Most 5 Valuable Benefits of Agile Methodology | Blog – Denysys Corporation

Above is just some of the learnings I have garnered over the past year.

I will share more in the upcoming posts .. so stay tuned and hope to see ya again soon !! 🙂

Best regards and take care, Jason.

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