As the year’s end draws near, I’ve been considering how to improve as a Scrum Master. That’s another hat that I wear at work – a hat I’ve taken on since Q2 of this year.
My initial focus was to improve how I facilitate sessions I considered crucial: the retrospective and establishing a Working Agreement.
Even though the underlying principle is simple – helping groups become more effective – I found out that there’s more to it. Other skills come into play that are intertwined just like swyx’s 8 Jobs of Management.
I recently learnt that these fall in two categories:
- Supporting the team and its processes;
- Improving the team’s speed.
Supporting the team and process entails:
- Facilitating meetings to support the work of the team;
- Helping the team avoid (or get out of) the 5 team dysfunctions,
- Helping the team have high psychological safety as the team is forming (going through Bruce Tuckman’s group development model )
- Moderating teams so that solutions come from those who’ll implement them. Seems to be most applicable when the team is in the “norming” phase.
As for improving speed, I’d summarise it as removing what slows the team down. That is, helping the team to:
- Get the most out of conflict;
- Identify, deal, and mitigate risks;
- Make decisions, or a process to do so. How fast can you go while waiting that a decision is made? On the other hand, not all decisions need to be made by consensus all the time.