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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!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 
 

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Top Books to guide your Scrum Master journey


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. 

Scrum is the most popular Agile framework. It is simple to adopt, but implementing it with success could prove to be challenging. The only way to overcome the “glitches” that may appear in the process is to understand its fundamentals and discover practical techniques that will help you get past any obstacles.

Anyone who has ever taken on a role of Scrum Master will tell you it is much harder than it looks. The responsibilities are massive, the traps are common and the organisations are unwilling to change. Agile Project Management requires a deep level of skill and understanding. It doesn’t lend itself to a step-by-step manual that you might find in a book.

That is why I have made a selection of top 20 Scrum Master books you should read if you are thinking of becoming a Scrum Master, or even if you are already one. I strongly believe below list of books are a game changer for the pre-game, game and post-game phases of the Scrum methodology.

  1. The Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland
  2. Scrum: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To Learn And Master Scrum Agile Framework by Hein Smith
  3. The Great ScrumMaster: ScrumMasterWay by Zuzana Šochová
  4. Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Esther Derby
  5. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
  6. Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process by Kenneth S. Rubin
  7. Scrum: A Pocket Guide by Gunther Verheyen
  8. Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership by Geoff Watts
  9. Learning Agile: Understanding Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban by Andrew Stellman & Jennifer Greene
  10. A Scrum Book: The Spirit of the Game by Jeff Sutherland
  11. Fixing Your Scrum by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller
  12. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition by Lyssa Adkins
  13. Agile Software Development with SCRUM, by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle.
  14. The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First year by Mitch Lacey
  15. Managing Agile Projects by Sanjiv Augustine.
  16. The Scrum Master’s Path 2 books in 1. A Guide for Servant Leaders Navigating Growth and Change Using SCRUM and the Agile Project Management
  17. Fun In Scrum — A Visual Approach Towards Mastering Scrum Fundamentals by Souvik Seal
  18. Zombie Scrum Survival Guide by Christiaan Verwijs, Johannes Schartau, Barry Overeem
  19. Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn
  20. The Elements of Scrum by Chris Sims & Hillary Louise Johnson

You can find few more suggestions here : https://agileforgrowth.com/scrum-master-books/

Learning is a lifelong process. Improving oneself is never a bad thing. Scrum helps us to adapt to changes and dynamics of the market. The same can be said for Scrum Masters. If you don’t work on yourself and seek to improve your knowledge, skills, and experiences, you’ll be stuck.

Hope this list of books help you select the best fit book for your agile and scrum learning. Do remember to comment down below your favourite book on the topic that might help other readers. If you have already read any of the above books do not forget to comment down your review and learnings from the book. 

Any book suggestions, drop it in the comments!

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!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2022 in Technical, Work Place

 

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Master the Scrum Master skills


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. 

The real-world challenge most organizations face today with the role of the Scrum Masters is – Developing Scrum Masters that have the required competencies and skills to perform the job well. Most Scrum Masters underperform due to lack of full range skills.

A Scrum Master is the person who champions a project and meets the expectations of the client. Also, he is responsible to build a team of highly innovative members. To define the Scrum Master key skills is somewhat difficult because he performs the role of management as well as the team leader. The major role of the Scrum Master is not telling his team members what they should do but to support and motivate them.

A Scrum Master who is able to help build high performing and innovative Scrum teams, and coach people can be a valuable asset for the organization. Great Scrum Masters will definitely contribute towards improving the business agility and helping organisational system as a whole.

Scrum Masters play a unique role. They are go-betweens that work with both development teams and the Product Owner to ensure the best quality work. While they have an exhaustive list of responsibilities, they are not project managers. Since Scrum teams are, by definition, “self-managed”, Scrum Masters hold a place of leadership, yet have no more authority than any other person on the team. However, it is the Scrum Master’s responsibility to make sure that everyone on the team is following the correct protocol. They are essentially the coach, the referee, and a team member all rolled into one.

From sprint planning to servant leadership, Scrum Masters help Agile developers, product owners and other team members perform at their best. A successful Scrum Master is expected to motivate the team members and increase their potential. For this, Scrum Master requires some skills that he should develop in himself. These are the skills that will help him in the career development. To become a successful Scrum Master and make a transition to the Scrum Master roles effectively, one will need below-mentioned Scrum Master Skills:

Agile and software development knowledge
Learning to build Scrum knowledge
Good at Execution of Scrum
Remove Barriers and Keep the Team on Track
Technical Familiarity
Share Experiences and Encourages Collaboration
Project management tools expertise
Introducing Engineering Practices
Leading and Facilitating Change:
Communication and Good Listening Power
Teaching and Coaching Abilities
Conflict Facilitation
Decision Making & Problem Solving skills
Empathy & Shielding the team when needed
Having Agile Mindset, Growth Mindset

I need your opinion to add 3 top Scrum Master skills that’ll be valuable in 2022.

A Scrum Master who learns, leads and listens, and applies their knowledge of processes and associated tools where needed, is in the right position to make the team run efficiently. These Scrum Master skills support rapid, predictable delivery at every iteration. And that kind of software delivery is ultimately why the team chose Scrum.

Finding the right Scrum Master can make a world of difference in the success of a development project. Both hard and soft skills come into play here. Scrum Masters must be able to strike a healthy balance in order to be a strong leader.

I think irrespective of the technological advancements there will still be a need of skilled Scrum Masters. An effective Scrum Master can help Scrum Team deliver results that are an order of magnitude better than mediocre Scrum Teams. Though the responsibilities of the Scrum Master may adjust with the time.

The conclusion is that the Scrum Master removes impediments, guides the team members in Scrum practices, and protects them against the outer interferences. Thus, the Scrum Master ensures the sustainability of a project by taking appropriate actions. In addition, Scrum Master organizes Scrum events whenever required and plans Scrum implementation. With the above-mentioned scrum master skills, scrum master improves the skills of his team members, which, in turn, increases the productivity.

So, here you have the scrum master skills to become a successful Scrum Master. You don’t have to be a full-stack developer to become a Scrum Master, but you should be creative and quick with a whiteboard marker.

References : https://agileforgrowth.com/blog, https://www.whizlabs.com/blog

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!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 29, 2022 in Technical, Work Place

 

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