It bums me out a bit how much scrum masters tend to stick with one methodology – a methodology they learned, usually, at a two-day class.
I’ve got nothing against the two-day scrum class. The basics are actually quite good. If used properly, those methodologies will reveal issues a team is having.
But a scrum master is more than just somebody who facilitates a morning meetin–or calculates velocity–for God’s sake. They need to be good communicators, good coaches, good process geeks. They also need to be able to protect the team from prying executives and managers.
Bottom line: they need to be good consultants. A good consultant asks great questions, is a really good listener, and pays attention to history and the numbers. They learn what’s worked in the past and see how they can integrate that with some new adjustments to make the team even more successful.
I won’t say that a scrum master should only, like some of the Agile pundits say, just ask high-gain questions and allow the team to come up with their own methodology willy-nilly. There are guardrails. There are some rules.
But there’s a lot of flexibility within those rules and guidelines.
A good scrum master will help the team think through the guidelines – what works, what fits their company, and their own personalities – to help them work better.
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