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Questions a Scrum Master Should Ask Before Joining an Organisation 


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Having been a Scrum Master for several years and having led 3 large and many small Agile transformations, I have come to appreciate the Scrum Master role more than anything else. Depending on the organizational setup, organizational maturity and Scrum maturity the Scrum Master role can be very challenging. Even if organization is conducive of Scrum, the role is challenging. 

Starting a new role as a Scrum Master for any startup or new organisation can be daunting. Whether you are new to the Scrum Master role or have a wealth of experience, joining a new team means getting up to speed with new people, processes and products. 

A smart scrum master needs to ask appropriate questions before joining a company. Before coming to a decision, the scrum master should clearly evaluate the current situation within the startup.

The scrum master role has been gaining popularity with the widespread adoption of Agile. Startups adopt Scrum at an ever earlier stage and look for professionals to help them out. There are some important questions a scrum master candidate can ask to find the right startup company for their skill set.

In order to get a good idea of how your new Scrum team are operating, I have collated list of questions for you to ask. This list of questions covers all the various topics you are likely to want to know more about, so gather your new Scrum team and ask away!

Here are list of favourite questions for candidates to ask *employers* when interviewing as a Scrum Master:

– What is the biggest challenge Scrum team(s) are currently facing?

– What Is Your Current Software Development Process?

– How much support does the scrum teams have in the organization?

– Why Are You Hiring a Scrum Master and Not a Project Manager?

– How do your team(s) currently feel about working with Scrum?

– How will we validate the success of this team and the product they’re going to build?

– Is the Product Owner empowered to make important decisions?

– What do you think will be this Scrum Master’s biggest challenge?

– What support from a Scrum Master is most important to you?

– Does each dev team currently have a Scrum Master and Product Owner?

– What is the Product Owner’s take on agile product development and planning?

– How would you rate the organization’s Agile or Scrum maturity on a scale of 1-5? Why did you give that score?

– What do you see as the biggest opportunities for your Scrum team(s) to improve?

– How big are your dev teams? How many developers and testers are on your dev teams?

– How many teams does each Scrum Master manage in your organization?

– What Is the Leadership Style of your organisation ?

– How long have the team(s) been working with Scrum?

– Is the team cross-functional enough to deliver a valuable increment?

– What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?

– How does the company practice its values and the values of Scrum?

– What’s the attitude of the company’s leadership towards Agile and Scrum

– What’s the last thing your team disagreed on, and how did you resolve that disagreement?

The answers to these questions will give an overview of what to expect upon joining a startup company. A good scrum master should be able to identify the situations where a startup needs a project manager instead of a scrum master and not take on unnecessary responsibilities.

 Do you have any go-to questions you always like to ask?

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!

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