Scrum Master Lessons from My 4 Year Old Son

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Scrum Master Lessons from My 4 Year Old Son

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“Regardless of what we discover, we understand and truly believe that everyone did the best job they could, given what they knew at the time, their skills and abilities, the resources available, and the situation at hand.” --Norm Kerth, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews

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What is Scrum?

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SCRUM IN ONE SLIDE Development Sprint Planning Sprint Review Sprint Retrospective Sprint ROLES: Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developer ARTIFACTS: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Product Increment

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What is a Scrum Master?

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“The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring Scrum is understood and enacted. Scrum Masters do this by ensuring that the Scrum Team adheres to Scrum theory, practices, and rules.” --The Scrum Guide

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The Scrum Values: Commitment Respect Focus Openness Courage LINK: http://agileanswerman.com/scrum-values-can-make-or-break-your-agile-project/

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What is an impediment?

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“Anything that prevents the scrum team from being productive.”

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Every scrum master can be more successful at serving their team by understanding these 10 lessons.

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“A dead scrum master is a useless scrum master.” --Ken Schwaber

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It’s Important to Try New Things 1

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“At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.” --Agile Manifesto

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“Three pillars uphold every implementation of empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.” --The Scrum Guide

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“Experimentation is at the heart of Agile”

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Is it safe to fail?

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Are experiments safe?

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“Your teams velocity is worse than the other scrums teams. Find a way to get your velocity up, or we may have to reassign resources.”

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“I don’t care if you want to use software to track user stories, we’re going to start with 3x5 cards and masking tape!”

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O’RLY ???

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Embrace Learning Opportunities (Failure) 2

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“DAD! Stop helping me!” --My son, tired of me inflicting help

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Happy Accidents Thomas Edison “failed” thousands of times until he found the correct filament for the light bulb. Post-It notes were invented to replace bookmarks. Kleenex tissues were originally made to remove make-up. WD40 is named after the number of attempts to get the water displacement formula correct. These ideas were at one point failures…

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Not every experiment is a winner…and not every failure is a loser.

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SCRUM IN ONE SLIDE Development Sprint Planning Sprint Review Sprint Retrospective Sprint ROLES: Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developer ARTIFACTS: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Product Increment

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Is it safe to fail?

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“That developer is slacking. When is the scrum master going to take care of the poor performer?”

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Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? 3

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What is the 5 Why’s technique?

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Often we push past the surface issues and find more complex system and relationship issues at the 5th “why”

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People do not fail, systems do

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Learn Gradually 4

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“I don’t think that design will work. You should code the story like this…”

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THINGS TO LOOK FOR: Is design/architecture emergent? Are the developers disengaged? How does the team decide the best way to do their work? Is pair programming, #mobprogramming, or swarming happening?

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ADJUSTMENTS: Leave the developers alone Step down as scrum master and resume a coding role Focus on guiding rather than directing Ask for permission to help

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“What does it matter how many times I reassign team members, isn’t that what self-organization is for?”

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Words Matter 5

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Your words are winning hearts and changing minds.

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Be consistent.

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Following through isn’t optional.

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Following through isn’t optional.

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“Teams ship working software at the end of each sprint. That’s why we implemented scrum. Work the weekends if you’re behind. The team needs to deliver on their commitments.”

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What about the word “Agile”?

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Communication is your greatest tool. How you frame discussions WILL make or break your agile transformations and projects.

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Sustainable Pace Is Important 6

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“Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.” --Agile Manifesto

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Sustainable pace is a quality play Burned out developers deliver bad code They also find better jobs

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Sustainable pace is a productivity play Continuous integration, automated testing, skill building, and whole team understanding become important when long hours are not an option

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Sustainable pace is predictable Over a period of time, the amount of work that a scrum team - working at a sustainable pace - can accomplish will become consistent

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Sustainable pace is humane

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“Your team leaves at 5:00pm and refuse to work weekends. Why don’t they have a sense of urgency?”

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Watch value, not the clock…

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Play Well With Others 7

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“How inclusive is your team?”

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“That’s not how it’s done! Here, let me show you the “right way” to be agile…at 2am.”

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ARE YOU A HERO?: Team seeks your approval before acting Team asks about the “right way” to do Agile Are you insisting on “correct” solutions?

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THINGS TO CONSIDER: Resist the urge to solve the teams problems Get comfortable with awkward silence Focus on relationships

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BEWARE LEARNED HELPLESSNESS Helplessness can lead to overlooking opportunities to improve

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Time Box Events 8

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A time box is a fixed period of time to perform an action or to achieve a goal.

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SCRUM IN ONE SLIDE Development Sprint Planning Sprint Review Sprint Retrospective Sprint ROLES: Scrum Master, Product Owner, Developer ARTIFACTS: Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, Product Increment

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Prevents over-investment in activities

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Promotes a focus on value

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Minimizes cost and impact of errors

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Be Kind 9

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?????? AGILE IMPACTS EVERYONE Organizational Change Leadership Change Team Change Status Change Job Description Change Role Change Culture Change

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WARNING SIGNS: Arguments – “What has to be true…?” Emotional outbursts Am I talking to the team or at the team? Your feelings – “Am I enjoying my role?”

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ARE YOU BEING KIND? Take time to reflect on difficult exchanges What is motivating you? Anxiety, fear, or frustration Address the “friction” in the retrospective Ask the team for feedback and support

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It’s hurts to grow…literally 10

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“A project manager could maybe become a tester...maybe.” --Ken Schwaber

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“500 YARDS OF FOUL-SMELLING MUCK” --Red “The Shawshank Redemption” The PMP® to CSM® pipeline…

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We are telling people to give up the tools, methods, processes, and behaviors that have made them successful.

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INSPECT: How the team manages their work Focus of Daily Scrum meeting Unsolicited advice Interrupting progress to pontificate

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ADAPT: Questions over statements (2:1 ratio) Make failure an option – and then fail The team owns tasks and solutions Ask for permission to help

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Learn to be introspective

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http://agileanswerman.com ryan@agileanswerman.com @ryanripley Podcast available on iTunes, Stitcher, and AgileAnswerMan.Com

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