Jeremy Jarrell

Agile Made Simple

Category: Uncategorized

Starting Your Team On The Right Foot With Team Chartering

This post originally appeared on the PivotalTracker blog. One of the best things that you can do to help your team deliver great products is to make sure your entire team…

This post originally appeared on the PivotalTracker blog.

One of the best things that you can do to help your team deliver great products is to make sure your entire team is starting off on the right foot.

A great way to do this is by creating a team charter, which is a document that formally describes how a team will work together. But in order for a team charter to be effective, the entire team must be vested in its output. To accomplish this, they must be actively involved in its creation; otherwise, if the team feels like the charter has been forced upon them, they’ll be more likely to reject it.

If you’re lucky, all members of your team will be fully committed to your team.

Defining How The Team Will Work Together

Team charters are often created as the team first begins to take shape and may persist across multiple projects throughout the team’s lifetime. While many of the specific details of a team charter may vary depending on the type of product the team is creating, the technology stack they are working with, or even the dynamics in play in their broader organization, generally speaking, most team charters will answer the following questions:

What Is The Vision For The Team?

The team charter should clearly state what the team will accomplish together. For example, if your organization is making its first foray into the mobile space, then the team’s vision may be, “To successfully deliver the organization’s first mobile application to market.”

What Are The Team’s Values?

The team charter should also define what qualities will be important to the team as they accomplish that vision. For example, does the team prize craftsmanship in the code they create, mutual respect across the entire team, or active learning and continuous improvement? Regardless of what values your team holds dear, asking them to actively consider and commit to those values greatly increases the chances that they will be upheld.

Who Is On The Team?

If you’re lucky, all members of your team will be fully committed to your team. However, many teams must contend with members who are shared across multiple teams or who are available to their team but not actually a part of it. A team charter should clearly specify who is on the team and in what capacity to help address directly any ambiguity about each member’s availability.

This is also a great opportunity to clarify what the roles of each member of the team will be. Simple roles such as Product Manager, Engineer, or Tester are often more than sufficient to help the team start to form a picture of how it can work together, as well as help new members quickly orient themselves to who they will be working with.

What Are The Ground Rules For The Team?

Finally, the team charter should clearly define what will be expected of each member while they are on the team. Often these expectations will be influenced by the values that the team stated earlier in the chartering process. For example, if your team values face-to-face collaboration across the team, then they may establish a ground rule that all members of the team are expected to work in the office during established core hours. On the other hand, if your team values individual responsibility, then they may establish a ground rule permitting working remotely, but clearly specifying by what communication channels each team member is expected to be available.

Regardless of what rules your team specifies, they should make it clear what is expected of each team member if they wish to remain in good standing with their peers.

Keeping The Team Charter Relevant

While your team should periodically have the opportunity to revisit their charter to ensure that it accurately reflects the way they want to work, this should not occur too frequently. Your team’s charter should serve as a touchstone for how the team will operate and changing it too frequently will inhibit the team’s ability to absorb the way of working they’ve defined for themselves.

Ideally, revisions to the team charter will best occur alongside major milestones or other opportunities for reflection and long-term planning. For example, after your team ships a major release of their product might be a good opportunity to consider revising the team charter based on the team’s experience in the last release. Or, if your organization operates on an annual planning cycle, then this can also be an opportunity to revisit the team charter’s in preparation for the coming year.

Even if your team has already formed without the benefit of a charter, it can still be beneficial to go through the process of creating a team charter. Creating a team charter with a team that is already established can be a great opportunity to level set a high-functioning team to ensure it continues operating at optimal levels, or even to reboot a team that may struggling. In either case, creating a team charter can give your team the opportunity to identify and capture what’s working well as well as to voice their concerns about what isn’t.

Getting The Most From Your Team’s Charter

Regardless of the terms that your team specifies for their charter, to get the most out of it the entire team must commit to respecting and honoring the terms they’ve agreed to. In addition, the team must also be committed to offering feedback on the charter and incorporating that feedback into future versions when opportunities for improvement arise.

If your team is committed to creating a charter that adds value to the way they work, and then honoring that charter after creation, then a team charter can be an excellent tool for starting your team on the right foot towards delivering a successful product.

Want to learn more about helping your team reach their true potential? Check out my course Scrum Master Fundamentals: Growing Yourself and Your Team for more tips on helping your team become their very best.

Don't have a Pluralsight membership? Try the entire Pluralsight course catalog free for 10 days here.

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Writing Great User Stories For Developing APIs

I recently received a great question from a viewer of my Creating Effective User Stories course. The viewer asked how she should approach writing user stories for team who would…

I recently received a great question from a viewer of my Creating Effective User Stories course. The viewer asked how she should approach writing user stories for team who would be creating APIs. For example, should the user story be written from the point of view of the API, such as “As an API, I want to…”, or should the persona portion of the user story be dropped entirely, focusing instead on only the intent and the justification.

As more and more teams find themselves tasked with creating APIs this is becoming a very common question. But luckily, there’s an approach to writing these types of user stories that can still help the team understand the intent of these stories without sacrificing their essence.

APIs Aren’t People

Most of know that creating an API persona for these types of stories simply doesn’t feel like the right answer. But explaining exactly why this isn’t the right answer can be harder to put your finger on.

To better understand why this feels wrong we have to remember some of the goals of user stories. First and foremost user stories are intended to improve collaboration with your team. However, they also have additional benefits, as well.

One of these additional benefits is to help you understand how the features you are designing will benefit the intended users of your product. Note the keyword there: users. This is critical, since without first understanding the users of your product, you can’t hope to design the features that will yield the most benefit to those users.

Another additional benefit is that well-crafted user stories help you understand the ultimate value that each story will be creating. This can help you can better understand if that value is worth the investment required to bring that story to market as well as when would be the optimal time to make that investment.

Note that neither of these benefits are possible if you don't have a properly-crafted and realistic persona already attached to each story. The lack of a realistic persona not only impedes your ability to make the necessary prioritization decisions as a product owner, but it also deprives your team of the context they'll need to make better informed technical decisions along the way.

Defining A Realistic Persona

So if creating a persona named API isn't the right choice for these types of stories then what is? The best choice is to identify the persona who will ultimately benefit from the value that the story will deliver and then attach the user story to that persona.

For example, imagine that you are creating an API that allows for conversions between different currency units. As part of this story you would like to convert between the Euro and the US Dollar. You could write the story as follows:

“As an API,
I want to convert between the Euro and the US Dollar”.

While this user story does convey the action that you wish to accomplish it lacks critical context. Who needs to do perform this action…the API? That's not very helpful. And what about the why?

While this story does tell the team what you want achieve, it lacks the necessary context to help the team make better decisions in development as well as to help you decide where this story fits in your overall product strategy.

Understanding Who Stands To Benefit

Imagine that you discover that your API will be used by a commodities trading house. And furthermore, imagine that you have a persona called “Commodities Trader” who represents someone who trades global commodities. Let's revisit the story in this new light.

“As a Commodities Trader,
I want to convert between the Euro and the US Dollar,
so that I can better understand how the price of my target commodity will be affected by currency fluctuations.”

This version of the story gives us much more context to work with. For example, understanding that this conversion will be used for comparing currency valuations helps our team better understand what level of precision will be needed in their conversions. And understanding that this conversion is intended to be used for commodities trading gives you much more context as a product owner to understand where this story might fit in your overall product strategy.

For example, if the trading volume between the European Union and the United States is relatively low today then this story can probably be delayed in exchange for higher priority work. On the other hand, if this trading volume is currently high then your product would likely benefit from tackling this story sooner rather than later. And finally, since we now know who will be using the feature and why they will be using it, we now have more information to find other stories in our backlog that might complement this story and therefore should be delivered alongside of it.

Putting This To Work In Your APIs

Features should exist only to yield value to your product’s users and ultimately your stakeholders. And user stories should exist to give your delivery team the context they need to make better informed decisions along the way. But without a well-crafted persona attached to each user story, you risk investing your team’s effort only to deliver stories that completely miss the mark for both your users and your stakeholders.

Want to learn even more ways to get the most out of your user stories? Check out my course, Creating Effective User Stories, for easy techniques that will have you writing better user stories today.

Don't have a Pluralsight membership yet? Try the entire Pluralsight course catalog free for 10 days here.

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How To INVEST In Your User Stories

This post originally appeared on the PivotalTracker blog. If you’re a product manager, user stories are a critical part of how you interact with your team. Nothing trumps a face-to-face conversation,…

This post originally appeared on the PivotalTracker blog.

If you’re a product manager, user stories are a critical part of how you interact with your team. Nothing trumps a face-to-face conversation, but the key to starting that conversation is a good story.

For example, imagine that your team is building an e-commerce site that enables college students to sell their books to other college students at the end of the semester. Rather than selling to an intermediary, such as a university bookstore, this site would let college students to sell their unused textbooks directly to their peers, thus allowing them to keep more of their profits. As a product manager, you might start the conversation with your team with this story:

As a college student

I would like to sell my old textbooks

so I can make money.

On the surface, this story seems to have all of the basic building blocks of a great user story. It clearly specifies a target persona that will benefit from the new capability described by the story, specifies what that new capability should be, and even describes what value the persona will receive from that capability.

But is this story enough to start the conversation with your team? What if there were a simple test that could tell you?

Meet INVEST

Luckily, there is a practice that can help, and it’s called INVEST. INVEST represents a specific set of qualities that mature stories tend to exhibit. Although not every quality will apply to every story, the more qualities that your story exhibits, the more likely it is to be ready for consumption.

So what are these qualities? INVEST represents these six qualities that are often considered desirable in a user story:

    • Independent: The story can be delivered independently of other stories. Note that this doesn’t mean that stories can’t have prerequisites, only that the stories may not be so coupled that they must be delivered in parallel.

 

    • Negotiable: While we prefer stories written in a clear and unambiguous language, stories should not be written to such a level of detail that they become overly restrictive and prevent your team from arriving at the best solution themselves.

 

    • Valuable: Every story that’s delivered should make your product more valuable—period.

 

    • Estimable: Every story should provide enough information to equip your team to make a reasonable estimate of that story’s complexity. This is because whether or not we can estimate a story’s complexity is often a great indicator of how well we actually understand that story.

 

    • Small: Smaller stories are easier for your team to understand and therefore are simpler to deliver. Plus, the smaller a story is, the less risk that may be lurking under its covers.

 

    • Testable: For each story that you write, you should be able to determine whether what was delivered met your expectations. To do this, the story must be written in a clear enough manner as to remove any ambiguity of what the end result should be.

 

Let’s look again at our story from before, but this time through the lens of INVEST.

As a college student

I would like to sell my old textbooks

so I can make money

For example, does “sell my old textbooks” describe a story that is small and independent? Perhaps not. Although this higher-level description does leave room for negotiation of how your team can best deliver the story, a more specific description may better enable that negotiation. What if you revised this story to better reflect how a college students may sell those textbooks?

As a college student

I would like to list my old textbooks for sale

so I can make money

This new version provides your team with a more refined vision for this capability that not only reduces the ambiguity and scope of the story, but also makes it more estimable because the team now has a better idea of what you have in mind. And because the story is now more clearly defined, it’s more testable, too.

But what about value? Is making money really the ultimate value that this story might yield to the college student? That’s definitely an end result, but this value statement doesn’t necessary add context to the story. Great value statements help your team better understand the why behind the story by providing clues to what a user might stand to gain after the story has been delivered. Let’s try to rework this story’s value statement to make that more clear.

As a college student

I would like to list my old textbooks for sale

so I can sell my textbook to the highest bidder.

That’s better. Your team now has a clearer understanding of what value the story will yield to the user once it’s delivered, which will provide clues to the complexity that may be inherent in this story. This additional context will better enable your team to negotiate tradeoffs that may allow them to deliver the story more effectively.

Getting more from INVEST

So now that you’ve seen what the individual qualities of INVEST are, let’s talk about how you can use INVEST to improve the quality of your own stories. To do this, we’ll start by talking about what each of these qualities has in common.

First, notice that while each of these qualities asks for a simple “yes” or “no” answer, how you arrive at that answer is subjective. For example, is your story valuable? Before you can answer yes or no, you must first define exactly what value means to your product as well as how that value will be measured. What about negotiable? Is your story negotiable enough? Once again, it’s up to you and your team to agree on how you strike the balance of defining your stories clearly enough so that they’re unambiguous, but not so well defined that they restrict your team’s creativity. This fostering of a deeper discussion across your entire team is the magic of the INVEST technique at work.

Next, notice that many of the INVEST qualities seem to support other qualities. For example, smaller stories naturally lead to more testable stories because smaller stories naturally become more concise and less coupled to other stories. Additionally, smaller stories also tend to be more estimable because these stories are naturally easier for a team to understand.

But not all qualities set up such a natural, virtuous circle. In fact, some qualities act as a balancing force to other qualities. For example, while in general we may prefer smaller stories, we don’t want to create stories that are so small that they don’t yield any meaningful value. For example, we want to avoid breaking stories into such small pieces that each piece is too small to move the product forward on its own.

Putting INVEST to work for you

Ensuring that your stories adhere to the qualities described by the INVEST technique can result in significant improvements to not only your stories but also your own communication with your team. But where should you start?

It would be unrealistic to expect that every story in your product backlog conforms to INVEST. Not only would this be time consuming, but overinvesting your time in stories further down your product backlog might also discourage you from changing those stories as you learn more about them in the future. Instead, INVEST is most appropriate when applied to those stories that are on deck for your next iteration. At this stage, you can be reasonably confident that you’ll make the investment in delivering those stories and you will have also learned more about those stories from your experience in previous iterations. At this point, it makes sense to spend the extra time ensuring your stories adhere to the INVEST qualities to improve your communication with your team.

By applying INVEST to those stories that are on deck for your team to deliver—and applying this technique at the right time—you can dramatically improve the level of communication between you and your team, which will dramatically improve the quality of the product that your team ultimately delivers.

Want to learn more ways to help your team get the most out of user stories? Check out my course, Creating Effective User Stories, for easy techniques that will have you writing better user stories today.

Don't have a Pluralsight membership yet? Try the entire Pluralsight course catalog free for 10 days here.

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Plotting The Scrum Master’s Career Path

The growing demand for Scrum Masters has created an influx of new Scrum Masters into the role. And while most of those Scrum Masters have loved their new career, many…

The growing demand for Scrum Masters has created an influx of new Scrum Masters into the role. And while most of those Scrum Masters have loved their new career, many have found themselves wondering what’s next? Even if you’re happy in your role it’s normal to wonder what opportunities might exist beyond that role. In fact, you may find yourself wondering if there even is a Scrum Master's career path. If this sounds familiar then you’ll be happy to know that there is a career path for Scrum Masters…it just might not look quite like you expect.

Skilled Scrum Masters show an incredible amount of versatility, often adjusting their approach to meet the specific needs of their teams. This versatility makes the Scrum Master role an ideal jumping off point to a myriad of other career opportunities. But finding the right career path for you primarily depends on what facet of the Scrum Master role appeals to you most.

Becoming An Agile Coach

Often Scrum Masters are so pleased with the positive effect that an agile approach has had on their teams that they want to bring this approach to their entire organization. If this sounds like you and you’d like to be catalyst for changes inside of your broader organization than becoming an agile coach may be the right path for you.

To be successful, you’ll need to develop the ability to coach at higher levels in the organization than you do as a Scrum Master…often at the executive level. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with concepts such as business agility to better explain how an agile approach can benefit even the non-technical functions in your organization as well as become well-versed in change management strategies since introducing a significant change to a large organization is not for the faint of heart. Finally, it can also be beneficial to broaden your exposure to agile methodologies beyond Scrum so you have a wider variety of tools at your disposal in your agile toolbox.

Making The Move to Product Owner

Sometimes Scrum Masters find what really appeals to them about the Scrum framework is how it enables them to deliver better products to their users. If you find yourself most fascinated by the end product your team is creating as well as understanding whether that product is actually meeting your users’ needs then the Product Owner role may be the right move for you.

Product Owners who have a background as a Scrum Master can be incredibly empowering to their teams. This is due not only to their deep knowledge of the Scrum framework, but also to the perspective that they’ve gained during their role as a Scrum Master. This perspective can better equip Product Owners to understand exactly what their Scrum teams need from them. This insight can be incredibly valuable as you work to find the right balance between setting a clear direction for your team but also giving them the freedom to identify better solutions as they emerge.

However, remember that each of the 3 roles on a Scrum team are defined as peers. Therefore you should be careful not to consider a move to the Product Owner role as a promotion above the Scrum Master role. In healthy teams, a move between these two roles would simply be considered a lateral move with the benefit of adding another facet to one’s Scrum experience.

Becoming A Manager

Often when agilists think of managers we picture pointy-haired Dilbertesque bosses forcing mundane tasks on their employees without a care for the well-being of those employees. However, while there certainly are managers that fit this description, generalizing all managers in this way would be unfair.

There are many excellent managers who regularly demonstrate a high-degree of empathy for their employees, a well-refined sense of emotional intelligence, and a sincere desire to help their employees grow both personally and professionally.

If this sounds like a path that may appeal to you then many of these same skills that you developed as a Scrum Master will transfer well. Combine this with the team facilitation skills that you’ll also develop as a Scrum Master and you can be well on your way towards a fruitful career as a manager.

Furthering Your Investment In The Scrum Master Role

Finally, it’s important to understand the Scrum Master role doesn’t always have to be a stepping stone into a new career. Many Scrum Masters have found that they enjoy the role so much that they desire nothing more than to simply spend their career as a Scrum Master. In fact, many organizations are now changing how they think about this role to help enable these types of individuals.

For example, many organizations have introduced a Scrum Master career ladder often culminating in a Senior Scrum Master position. As Scrum Masters progress along this ladder they gain more and more responsibility by working with multiple teams, working with teams at different skills levels in their agile journey, acting as an agile advisor to their broader organization, or even serving as a mentor to more junior Scrum Masters.

In addition to this role, many organizations who have endeavored to scale Scrum also have created roles specifically to enable this scaling process. Sometimes referred to as a Chief Scrum Master, this role is often tasked with assuming responsibility for the entire scaled Scrum implementation as well as for identifying and addressing any scaling dysfunctions that may occur as the organization grows.

If you find that you simply really love the act of being a Scrum Master, then either of these opportunities may appeal to you.

Finding The Right Path For You

Becoming a Scrum Master can be the first step in a long and rewarding career that can offer many different career paths over time. Whatever path is right for you, you can be sure that the skills and relationships that you’ll develop as a Scrum Master will serve you well on that journey.

Want to learn more about building a great career as a Scrum Master? Check out my course Scrum Master Fundamentals – Growing Yourself and Your Team to learn more about the career options available to Scrum Masters and how you can plot the perfect career for you.

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Finding The Right Scrum Master Job

The surge in demand for Scrum Masters has led to a wealth of available job opportunities for motivated Scrum Masters. This means that if you’re a budding Scrum Master anxious…

The surge in demand for Scrum Masters has led to a wealth of available job opportunities for motivated Scrum Masters. This means that if you’re a budding Scrum Master anxious to break into this new career, or an experienced Scrum Master just looking for a new challenge, then this is a great time to be on the market. But with all of the Scrum Master jobs available, how do you know which job is right for you?

One of the best indicators of whether or not a Scrum Master job is right for you is how an organization’s view of the Scrum Master role aligns with your own view of the role. While the responsibilities of the Scrum Master role are clearly defined in the Scrum Guide, the lightweight and non-prescriptive nature of the Scrum framework often leads to many organizations taking wide latitude with how they interpret this role. And this interpretation may or may not align with your own interpretation.

Luckily, there are four simple questions that you can ask to help determine if you and a new organization are a match made in heaven, or if you may be in for a nasty surprise your first day on the job.

Question 1: How Do You Measure A Scrum Master’s Success?

One of the most common surprises you might find with a new Scrum Master position is when the organization views the Scrum Master role simply as a rebranded project manager. In these instances, you may find that your goals for your new position don’t align with your organization’s goals.

One of the best ways to identify if such a discrepancy exists is by asking how the organization measures the success of their Scrum Masters. Organizations who are simply treating the Scrum Master role as a rebranded project manager will often cite criteria as to whether or not the Scrum Master’s team is delivering the work expected of them on-time and in-budget, how well the Scrum Master is pushing the team to meet previously agreed upon deadlines, and if the Scrum Master is increasing the team’s velocity sprint-after-sprint. While the organization may feel that they find value in each of those criteria, many of those criteria still carry the smell of a command and control approach to software delivery, not to mention that they also mistakenly equate a team’s busyness with the value that they produce.

In contrast, organizations who have a healthier perspective on the Scrum Master role might cite criteria that could indicate that the Scrum Master is enabling their team to improve as a unit. For example, is the Scrum Master actively working with the broader organization to help them understand how they can better support the team, is the team becoming more self-sufficient and self-managing, and is the team’s overall throughput improving and their velocity stabilizing. Each of these criteria can indicate a Scrum Master who is actively improving the way their team operates and laying the groundwork for sustainable improvements to how their team delivers value to their organization.

But to truly know how deeply the organization understands this difference, you should also pose this same question to the existing Scrum Masters in the organization. Most large organizations will already have several Scrum Masters on staff. And, if there are already Scrum Masters in the organization, then they should most certainly be part of the interview process.

This is a great opportunity to also ask those current Scrum Masters how their success is measured in the eyes of the organization. If the answers given by the Scrum Masters differ significantly from the answers given by the organization, then this could be an indication that the organization hasn’t made their expectations clear to the Scrum Masters and that they don’t truly understand how they are being measured.

Question 2: What Is Your Career Path For Scrum Masters?

Another indicator of whether or not an organization is the right fit for you can be how they view the career path of Scrum Masters. But to know this, you first have to understand what you ultimately want from the Scrum Master role.

The versatility of the Scrum Master role makes it uniquely well-suited to serving as a jumping off point to other longer term career aspirations. For example, if you desire to broaden agile adoption across your organization, then the deep agile knowledge and facilitation skills that you gain as a Scrum Master can serve as an excellent step towards becoming an agile coach. On the other hand, if you find that you are most interested in the outputs that your team produces and how those outputs ultimately provide value to your stakeholders, then a career in product management may be in your future. Or finally, if you discover that you simply enjoy working closely with development teams and enabling them to continuously push the envelope of what they’re capable of, then simply continuing to pursue a mastery of the Scrum Master’s craft may be your goal.

Regardless of your long-term career aspirations, you should confirm that the career ladder available at your new organization will enable those aspirations. Often this can be learned by simply asking what an organization’s career path is for Scrum Masters.

If you desire an eventual move into product management, then you might seek an organization who encourages Scrum Masters to move laterally into other parts of the organization, such as business analysis or product management. On the other hand, if your longer-term aspirations are to become an agile coach, then you might seek an organization whose career ladder gradually increases the responsibility of Scrum Masters into broader areas of the organization until those individuals are acting as executive level coaches. Or, if you’re one of the many Scrum Masters who simply loves the role of Scrum Master and wants to continually refine their craft, then you might seek an organization with multiple levels of the Scrum Master role. These Scrum Master career ladders, which often culminate in titles such as Lead Scrum Master or Senior Scrum Master, are designed to a grow a Scrum Master’s skills by gradually increasing their responsibility by giving them responsibility for more teams, teams who are new to or who are struggling with their agile adoption, or even responsibility for training and mentoring more junior Scrum Masters in their organization.

Whatever your long-term career aspirations are, you’ll want to be sure to find an organization that will enable and support those aspirations long into the future.

Question 3: What Is A Day In The Life Of A Scrum Master?

One of the best ways to understand how the organization views the Scrum Master role is simply to ask the organization’s other Scrum Masters.

Asking each Scrum Master to describe a typical day can give a lot of insight into the expectations of that organization’s Scrum Masters. For example, do the Scrum Masters speak mostly of removing impediments for their team or do they seem to be more focused on teaching their team to remove these impediments for themselves. Or, do the Scrum Masters speak of leading the various Scrum events for their team or do they position themselves as a facilitator who helps their team get the most from these events. Listening to not only what activities the Scrum Masters describe, but also for subtle cues in how they describe them can be very revealing of the Scrum Master’s true role in the organization.

And, as with previous questions, turning this question back on the organization can reveal how well the organization understands how the Scrum Master role functions in their organization. If you find that the organization’s description of the daily activities of a Scrum Master differ significantly from what the Scrum Masters describe, then this may be an indication that the organization doesn’t truly understand the challenges their Scrum Masters are facing each day.

Question 4: What Are You Looking For In Your Next Scrum Master?

Finally, if you are fortunate enough to meet other Scrum Masters in the organization during the interview process, then you can also use this opportunity to gain insight into how well those Scrum Masters are currently functioning as a team.

For any lasting change to take effect in an organization, there must be multiple Scrum Masters acting in concert to enact that change. This not only enables those Scrum Masters act as a chorus of guidance to the organization, rather than as a single lonely voice, but it also allows each of those Scrum Masters to reinforce that same guidance across multiple teams in the organization.

But in order for this to happen, it takes more than just multiple Scrum Masters in the same organization…those Scrum Masters must be acting in a coordinated effort. One of the best ways to understand how well-coordinated this effort is is to ask the other Scrum Masters what they are looking for in their next Scrum Master.

Asking this question helps you understand how introspective the current team of Scrum Masters are about their strengths and weaknesses. A mature team of Scrum Masters will be very introspective which will allow them to identify gaps in their skills across the team. For example, the team may understand that while they have a strong grasp of the Scrum framework, they lack significant experience with other agile methodologies like Kanban. Or while the members of the team may feel very comfortable coaching at the team level, they may lack the skills to coach effectively at the executive level.

A mature team of Scrum Masters will be introspective enough to identify opportunities for improvement and will be actively seeking to fulfill these opportunities gaps with the next addition to their team.

Making Your Next Move The Right Move

Considering any change in employment can be a stressful time. This is especially true when that change involves a role that can be as widely interpreted as the Scrum Master role. But by understanding what you truly desire from your next opportunity, as well as asking the right questions to help you learn whether or not your new organization will support those desires, you can greatly increase your chances of making your next change a successful one.

Do you want to learn the skills that you'll need to ace your next Scrum Master interview? Check out my course series, Using the Scrum Framework, to learn how to set yourself apart as a Scrum Master and help your team reach their highest potential.

Don't have a Pluralsight membership yet? Try the entire Pluralsight course catalog free for 10 days here.

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Can the Length of Your Iteration Change in the Middle of Your Project?

This post originally appeared on the PivotalTracker blog. Most agile teams work in iterations, especially those teams that follow a cadenced approach, such as scrum. And why not, since an…

This post originally appeared on the PivotalTracker blog.

Most agile teams work in iterations, especially those teams that follow a cadenced approach, such as scrum. And why not, since an iteration-based approach provides many advantages to teams. But while there’s little argument concerning the value of iterations, finding the right iteration length for a team is no small feat.

But, even after finding the right iteration length, some teams start to wonder if the length they once thought was so perfect is still the right choice for them. Perhaps they’re lured by the promise of the greater efficiency of longer iterations, or the greater responsiveness of shorter iterations call to them like a siren’s song. Whatever the reason, it inevitably begs the question: can a team change the length of their iterations in the middle of a project?

If your team happens to be pondering this same question, then you’ll be happy to know that the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!” It’s completely acceptable for teams to change the length of their iteration in the middle of their project and it actually happens more often than you might think. But while changing iteration lengths in the middle of a project can be done, it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Luckily there are a few things that can improve your odds of success if your team is considering heading down this path.

Preparing Your Team for the Change

Any change to how your team works will require time for them to absorb. This is true whether that change is the adoption of a new piece of the team’s technology stack, a new technical practice, or even a new team member. Even if the change is ultimately a positive one, don’t be surprised if your team’s output dips a bit while they become accustomed to this new way of working. This is especially true when changing your iteration length, since you’re fundamentally altering the timebox in which your team works.

The first thing you’ll need to do to prepare your team for this change is to help them understand how their planning activities will also need to change. For example, your team is probably conducting a planning session at the beginning of each iteration to select and plan their work for the upcoming iteration. And they’re also probably holding a review session at the end of each iteration to review their work and ensure that they’re on track to delivering what their customer needs.

If you are shortening the length of your iteration by half—e.g., from two weeks to one week—then you can expect that the duration of the accompanying planning and review sessions will also be shortened by half. For this to be successful, you must make sure your team understands that this shortened planning duration means that they’ll need to be more efficient during those sessions in order to accomplish everything they need to within the time allowed. A team that shortens its iteration length but continues to spend just as much time in planning sessions gains nothing and actually loses efficiency as now a smaller percentage of their time is spent actually producing value.

On the other hand, if your iterations are becoming longer, then you’ll need to prepare your team for the reality that they’ll now need to spend correspondingly more time in their planning and review sessions. For example, imagine that your team is currently working in two-week iterations but decides that three-week iterations are a better fit. If your team is currently spending four hours on the first day of each iteration planning their work for the next two weeks, then you’ll need to prepare them to spend roughly six hours planning their work on the first day of every iteration moving forward. While most teams will, at least superficially, understand the need for correspondingly longer planning sessions to accommodate the larger undertaking of work, *understanding* a six-hour planning session and *participating* in a six-hour planning session are two entirely different things.

Predicting the Result of the Change

But once you’ve prepared your team for this change, how do you understand the effects it will have on your project? A team’s velocity is often treated as one of the major indicators of a project’s success. And while we understand that velocity is not our goal, tracking a team’s trend in velocity over the past few iterations can be a powerful tool for forecasting the capacity that we can expect from that team in the future. But how can we predict the change in our team’s velocity after we’ve altered their iteration length?

It can often be tempting to simply extrapolate a team’s change in velocity based on the corresponding change in the team’s iteration length. For example, if your team has an average velocity of 50 points per iteration using two-week iterations, then it would stand to reason that that same team should produce 100 points per iteration using four-week iterations, right?

Maybe. Or, maybe not. Extrapolating a team’s new forecasted velocity based on the change in their iteration length may be a good place to start, but the actual effect of that change is rarely that simple.

A lot of factors can affect a team’s velocity from iteration to iteration, and the actual result of a change in iteration length may not be reflected in that team’s velocity for several iterations. This means that while your team’s velocity *will* change as result of a change in iteration length, *how* it will change will be tough to predict. For this reason, you’ll need to be prepared to expect the unexpected for the first few iterations under the new length as well as be prepared to account for this change in velocity in your longer term project planning.

Making the Most of the Change

While you won’t want to alter your team’s iteration length on a regular basis, the occasional change can be not only successful but even a very positive change for your team.

However, this change shouldn’t be taken lightly and your team will need your help to make it successful. By preparing your team for a change in iteration length using the tips above, you can help ensure they make the most of this new new change to their workflow.

Want to learn more about how to make agile work with your team when things don't go as expected? Check out my course, Agile in the Real World, for tips and techniques for making agile really work in your organization.

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Can The Scrum Master And Product Owner Roles Be Combined?

“Can’t we just combine the Scrum Master and Product Owner roles?” If you’ve been around new Scrum teams for any period of time then you’ve likely heard this question more…

“Can’t we just combine the Scrum Master and Product Owner roles?”

If you’ve been around new Scrum teams for any period of time then you’ve likely heard this question more than once. In fact, it might even sound as if it makes sense. After all, at first glance, the roles actually appear very similar. So similar, in fact, that one might believe that there may even be efficiencies to be gained by doing so.

But, if we look closer, many of these similarities only appear because these two roles are the only roles on a Scrum team which are not developer roles. In fact, that’s where the similarities end.

Creating a balance

While the roles may at first appear similar, in actuality they have very different focuses. The Product Owner is focused on the value that the team will produce and how to select the work that will ultimately enable that value. The Scrum Master, on the other hand, is focused on how to enable the team to deliver the work that the Product Owner chooses most effectively. This means that separating these roles between two individuals helps to strike a productive balance. This balance enables the team to produce value for their organization but to do so in such a way that ensures the long term creation of that value, such as working at a sustainable pace and keeping the level of technical debt in check.

On the other hand, when these roles are combined into a single individual often that individual will gravitate towards the role they are most comfortable with while starving the responsibilities of the other role. For example, if the individual is most comfortable in a technically-oriented role then they may gravitate towards those responsibilities of the Scrum Master that support and enable the Development team while ignoring the value maximizing responsibilities of the Product Owner.

Making the most of two roles

While ensuring that the Scrum Master and Product Owner roles are properly split across two individuals is a necessary ingredient to creating a high-performing Scrum team, there’s more to making the most of these roles than simply splitting them.

Often the tension created by attempting to balance the competing priorities of these roles leads to teams viewing the roles themselves as competitors. However, this simply isn’t true. While a healthy tension should exist between a skilled Scrum Master and Product Owner, these roles should complement each other rather than compete.

But, it’s also important to remember that the Scrum Master is not simply an assistant to the Product Owner, either. While the Scrum Master may help the Product Owner fulfill certain responsibilities, if both agree that doing so would be effective, this in no way implies that the Scrum Master should be subservient to the Product Owner. All members of a Scrum Team are considered to be equal which means that regardless of their roles in the organization, in the context of the Scrum team, the Scrum Master and the Product Owner are peers.

Resisting the temptation

While the temptation may exist to combine the Scrum Master and Product Owner roles, remember that these roles were intentionally designed as separate roles. Respecting this separation of responsibilities helps to ensure that your team will benefit from the the full value that each of these roles are designed to provide, which will bring them one step closer to becoming a high-performing Scrum team.

Want to learn more about how to overcome the most common problems faced by agile teams? Check out my course, Agile in the Real World, for tips and techniques for making agile really work with your team.

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Finding Your First Job As A Scrum Master

There’s no doubt that the Scrum Master role has been in the spotlight lately, even being named one of the top 10 most promising careers. This has garnered so much…

There’s no doubt that the Scrum Master role has been in the spotlight lately, even being named one of the top 10 most promising careers. This has garnered so much attention that the role has even begun to attract those from outside of the technology industry. In fact, several individuals have recently reached out to me expressing interest in breaking into the Scrum Master role without experience as part of an agile team or even in technology, in general. If you would love to break into the Scrum Master role but simply don’t have the experience, then don’t despair…finding your first job as a Scrum Master may be easier than you think.

Getting Certified

For better or worse, holding at least an entry level Scrum Master certification is a prerequisite for almost any Scrum Master position today. While the value that some certifications yield may be debatable, their requirement is omnipresent in almost every Scrum Master job posting.

Luckily, the surge in demand for these certifications has resulted in several different options for finding the certification path that’s right for you. The two most dominant options are the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) certification offered by Scrum Alliance® and the Professional Scrum Master (PSM) certification offered by Scrum.org. Both certifications are based on the Scrum Guide, which is the standard reference point for learning the Scrum framework, and both certifications offer paths towards more advanced certifications beyond the entry level certification.

The major difference in these certifications is how they’re earned. To earn the Certified ScrumMaster certification you must attend a two-day in person training class offered by a Certified Scrum Trainer, who is licensed by Scrum Alliance. After completing this class you will be eligible to attempt a certification exam which will allow you to earn the Certified ScrumMaster® certification.

On the other hand, while similar two-day in person training classes are offered by Scrum.org licensed Professional Scrum Trainers, the attendance of such a class is not a mandatory prerequisite before attempting Scrum.org’s own Professional Scrum Master certification exam.

Preparing For The Exam

The option to purchase a Professional Scrum Master certification attempt directly from Scrum.org without the need to incur the cost of attending a live class makes this path a very attractive option for those who are seeking a more economical option to certification or for those who simply do not have access to live training in their local area. Be aware, however, that Scrum.org’s exams can be quite rigorous and are not for the faint of heart. The Scrum.org training courses are of very high value, so if you’re considering attempting the Professional Scrum Master exam without the benefit of attending one then you’ll want to take a few steps to prepare yourself.

As a first step, you’ll want to take some time to review the Scrum Guide in depth to make sure that you understand the rules of the Scrum framework. In addition, you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with what is actually part of the Scrum framework versus what complementary practices you may have simply attributed to the Scrum framework. For example, are Story Points part of the Scrum framework? If you think that they are then you may need to spend some time reviewing the Scrum Guide.

Next, you’ll want practice the Open Assessments that are available for free on Scrum.org’s website. While the assessment questions on the actual exam tend to be more difficult than those found on the Open Assessments, practicing the Open Assessments will help you familiarize yourself with the language and format of the questions that you’ll encounter on the actual exam. Note that Scrum.org makes several different Open Assessments available so you’ll want to consult the PSM I certification page to learn which Open Assessments will be the most helpful for preparing you for your certification.

Finally, you’ll want to take some time to understand how the rules of the Scrum framework play out in practice. A great place to start is Pluralsight’s Using the Scrum Framework Learning Path, which will introduce you to not only the mechanics of the Scrum framework, but also to how those mechanics can be applied inside of your team. Many budding Scrum Masters have used this path to successfully prepare for earning their PSM I certification and you’re likely to find value in it, as well.

Sharing Your Thoughts

Once you’ve learned the basics of the Scrum framework then it’s time to start sharing your thoughts on Scrum with the world. A great way to do this is with your own blog where you can share your evolving thoughts on the Scrum framework and how it can help teams be more effective. If you don’t yet have thoughts on how Scrum can help teams then don’t worry, simply using the blog to document your own learning process as you learn more about the Scrum framework can be a great first step.

You can even use this as a platform to share your thoughts on any agile-related books that you’ve read or to work through open questions that you may still have about the Scrum framework. Whatever the content is, you’ll be amazed at how simply taking the time to write and formulate your thoughts will help you better crystalize your own understanding of Scrum. In fact, simply documenting your own experience earning one of the certifications mentioned above can be a great starting point.

There are a lot of options available for starting a blog so don’t let a lack of experience with blogging stop you from doing so. While you may think of a blogging as hosting and managing your own blog at your own domain, third party publishing sites such as LinkedIn and Medium can making the process of starting your own blog nearly instantaneous. These third party platforms can also remove the headaches that inevitably come with having to manage your own platform and will even give you immediate access to an interested audience rather than having to build a following from the ground up.

But speaking of audience, remember that the size of your audience isn’t important. Your blog is an opportunity for you to showcase your thoughts and passion regarding the Scrum framework and the Scrum Master role. Organizations that are hiring Scrum Masters will be most impressed with your passion for your craft and your initiative to share that passion with the world, not by the size of your audience.

Meeting People

More than anything else, the Scrum Master role is about interacting with people, and there’s no better way to do that then to find like-minded individuals who share your passion for Scrum. Sometimes, simply knowing the right individual at an organization is all it takes for you to get your chance at your first Scrum Master position. But where do you find these individuals?

Start with where they tend to gather. A great starting point is attending the agile related sessions at small regional conferences. Many agile conference sessions are interactive so they can be a great opportunity to meet others in the Scrum Master role. In addition, most major cities offer agile meetups where agile practitioners can meet regularly to discuss advancements in their field. Make it a point to become a regular attendee of your local meetup and you’ll inevitably start to meet others who can help you get your big break.

But there’s actually a way to take this a step further. Many agile companies are proud of their new way of working and are happy to open their doors to others who might benefit from it. Find out which companies are the agile thought leaders in your area and reach out to those companies. Ask if they would be open to you shadowing one of their Scrum teams for a few days to learn how Scrum works in practice, similar to an unpaid internship. You’ll be surprised at how many companies are open to these types of arrangements and are more than happy to allow you to sit in on a few of their Scrum events to see their team in action.

Doing this will not only give you first-hand experience as to how the Scrum framework is often implemented in practice which you can speak to during your next interview, but the connections and friendships that you form during that time might very well lead to your first Scrum Master opportunity.

Taking That First Step

While the steps I’ve discussed above are best followed in the order that they’re presented they can be taken in whatever order makes the most sense for you. For example, if you have the opportunity to spend time with a high-performing Scrum team before you’ve earned your certification then certainly don’t let the lack of a certification stop you from doing so.

What’s important is that you take the first step that’s right for you and helps you come one step closer to fulfilling your dreams of becoming a great Scrum Master.

Do you want to learn more about launching your career as a Scrum Master? Or, are you an experienced Scrum Master who is ready to take your craft to the next level? Check out my course series, Using the Scrum Framework, to learn how to set yourself apart as a Scrum Master and help your team reach their highest potential.

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Measuring The Value Of An Agile Team

Measuring the value that an agile team creates is one of the biggest challenges that teams who are new to agile often face. And while many agile methodologies put an…

Measuring the value that an agile team creates is one of the biggest challenges that teams who are new to agile often face. And while many agile methodologies put an emphasis on focusing on those activities that are most likely to yield value for your organization, how to actually measure that value often remains a question.

For many agile teams, especially those using the Scrum framework, velocity is often the first place we look. But is velocity really the best measure of the value that a team creates?

What’s Wrong With Velocity?

Velocity is often described as a measure of the amount of work a team delivers in a given sprint, but this description isn’t entirely correct. Rather than a measure of the amount of work a team delivers, velocity is actually the sum of the estimates of each story that the team delivered during that sprint.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine during the last sprint your team delivered the following 5 stories.

The total of the estimates of all of those stories was 21 points, which means that your team’s velocity for the last sprint was also 21 points. But does that mean that your team delivered 21 points worth of value? Not necessarily. The points that we’ve just described are estimates of a story’s complexity, which doesn’t always correlate to a story’s business value. For example, the previous sprint’s most complex story, which was the story to update the admin portion of the app to support color blindness mode, was estimated at 8 points. However, just because this was the most complex story undertaken in the sprint doesn’t necessarily mean that it was the story which produced the most business value.

By comparison, the story to add American Express as a supported credit card was estimated as the least complex story in the sprint at only 2 points. However, due to the potential for additional revenue this story may have been one of the most valuable stories delivered in the entire sprint, despite its relative simplicity.

What does it mean that our most complex story was one of our our least valuable while our least complex story was one of our most valuable? It tells us that velocity isn’t necessarily correlated to the value produced. In fact, this example tells us that it may not even be a reliable proxy.

Changing the Conversation

To measure the value that an agile team produces you must shift the conversation away from your team’s productivity and towards the value that your team actually creates. But to do this, you must have at least an initial understanding of how that value is created.

Sometimes this can be easy, as in the case of a story that may result in increased usage of your product or even in direct revenue. But other times, it may not be as easy. Sometimes the ultimate goal of a story is not to increase revenue, but instead is something more tangential. For example, some stories are written with the goal of streamlining an existing workflow inside of a product, improving the perception and awareness of a company’s brand, or simply making an existing process inside of an organization more operationally efficient.

Measuring the impact of these kinds of stories can be difficult and that difficulty only increases if the impact must be measured soon after a story is delivered. So, how do you measure the impact of these types of stories?

Understanding The Value Your Stories Will Create

The most important point to remember is that if you don’t have at least an idea of how to measure the impact of these stories then immediately stop where you are. Everything an agile team does should be in support of maximizing the value that they produce for their organization. This means that if you don’t have at least an idea of how to measure the value of what your team will be creating then you don’t understand your end goal well enough to continue to invest in it.

If this is the case, then take a step back and consider what the value is that you’d like each story to produce. Once you have an understanding of what that value is then you can begin to brainstorm possible ways to actually measure that value after delivery.

It’s important to realize that your first idea of how to measure the value produced in these cases doesn’t have to be correct. In fact, measuring these types of stories can be so difficult that you’re unlikely to get it right the first time. But to learn from that experience you need to consider why your first attempt was wrong and what you could do differently to measure that value more effectively. Like most things in an agile, learning to measure the value produced by stories that don’t directly produce value themselves is often an iterative process. However, this iterative process not only results in the right answer, but also teaches you more about the value your stories are creating along the way.

Making the Most of Measuring

A high-performing agile team will almost certainly produce value for your organization, but understanding how much value they create isn’t always straightforward. Worse, it can often be easy to conflate metrics such as velocity, which are intended solely for the team's own use for forecasting and planning, with the amount of value that the team is producing.

But by using the opportunity to measure the value that your team is producing as a chance to uncover what that value truly is, you can be sure that your team will always be producing value for your organization.

Want to learn more about getting the most out of agile with your team? Check out my course, Agile in the Real World, for tips and techniques for making agile work in your organization.

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3 Simple Things Scrum Masters Can Do To Improve Their Craft

Getting started as a Scrum Master can be pretty easy. Take some time to read the Scrum Guide to learn the mechanics of the framework, watch a few videos to…

Getting started as a Scrum Master can be pretty easy. Take some time to read the Scrum Guide to learn the mechanics of the framework, watch a few videos to go deeper into the role, and then perhaps attend a certification course to learn how to apply these principles in practice.

But even though getting started as a Scrum Master can be relatively easy, the next steps in your journey to becoming a great Scrum Master often aren’t so clear. How do you learn to handle the tough situations that will inevitably arise day-to-day? Or how do you learn to step out of your daily responsibilities and see the bigger picture of how your team is evolving? And finally, how do you ensure that you are growing as a Scrum Master so that you’re continually improving in your quest to help your team become more effective?

Achieving these more advanced goals often isn’t as easy as getting started, but lucky there are some simple practices that can help you take those next steps.

Find Your Tribe

One of single the most effective things you can do to become a more effective Scrum Master is simply to interact with other Scrum Masters. Spending time with other Scrum Masters can reveal a wealth of information, practices, and resources that you may not have been aware of. You’ll be exposed to new perspectives on how to handle common problems faced by Scrum teams and you might even gain insights into how your own practices and behaviors are perceived.

But how do you do this? The easiest way is to simply invite other Scrum Masters in your organization to a regular session in which everyone can meet and share their experiences with their own Scrum teams. A morning coffee chat or even a Friday afternoon session to unwind at the end of the week once per month both work well for this. The only rule is to make it a regular occurrence at a time when everyone can attend without feeling rushed.

Once your group is together, take the opportunity to share recent experiences and developments that have affected your team as well as how you handled them. Then ask if anyone in attendance has encountered similar situations and, if so, how they handled them. You might learn some new approaches to handling the situation should you encounter it again. In addition, if there are others in attendance who haven’t encountered the same situation then they will not only be better prepared to recognize the same situation but they will also have a few tools in their toolbox to handle it when it occurs.

But what if you’re the only Scrum Master in your organization? Maybe you work for a small organization or maybe your organization has just begun its Scrum journey and yours is the first Scrum team on the ground. What do you do then?

In that case, try to find other Scrum Masters in your local area with which you can establish the same standing meeting. Perhaps this is a coffee chat early one morning or lunch at a convenient location one day per month.

While it’s true that Scrum Masters from outside of your organization may not have the same insights into your organization’s unique culture and dynamics, you may find that these same Scrum Masters bring a fresh perspective to your problems simply because of different approaches that they've tried in their own organizations. Simply becoming aware of the challenges and experiences of Scrum teams in another organization can open your mind to perspectives and practices that you may not have even considered.

Start a Scrum Master’s Journal

The next practice is even simpler. Go to your favorite bookstore and buy a nice journal and pen. Then every day, at the end of the day, take 10 minutes to write down the day's experiences.

A great model for this is the Sprint Retrospective that you’re already engaging in with your own team, but from the perspective of your own daily interactions.

Record what you did in your role that day that seemed to have a positive effect on your team and what that effect was. Then record anything that occurred that didn’t go as well as you would have liked. And finally, consider whether there is anything that you’d like to try differently tomorrow.

I would also suggest that you make a note of any major events that occurred during that day, such as key developments that occurred with your team or important events that occurred within your organization. This will help you better understand the context of your notes as well as any external dynamics that may have been affecting your team when you revisit your notes in the future.

Taking a mere 10 minutes at the end of each day to perform a bit of introspection can be incredibly powerful. Not only will this help improve your awareness of your own actions and what effects they have on your team, but it will also help you start to better identify patterns that seem to be affecting your team and better equip you to intervene when you spot those patterns occurring.

Find a Mentor

Interacting with other Scrum Masters will expose you to new perspectives that you may not have previously considered. And starting a regular habit of journaling will help improve your self-awareness of your own behaviors and how those behaviors may be affecting your team. But what about the truly tough problems that you’ll face as a Scrum Master? What about those challenges that are not only facing your team, but also your own growth as a Scrum Master? For that, you’ll need the one-on-one interaction of a mentor.

A great mentor can help illuminate the path on your journey to self-development, act as a sounding board as you work through some of your toughest challenges, and even help you spot possible pitfalls that may lie in wait on the path ahead.

Many Scrum Masters have found that regularly participating in a structured mentoring session on a weekly or monthly basis has been one of the most impactful experiences of their career. But where do you find someone to fill the mentorship role for you?

Many senior Scrum Masters are often willing to serve as a mentor to those who are more junior not only because it can be so personally rewarding, but also because serving as mentor can often be an incredibly illuminating experience, as well.

However, if a more senior Scrum Master is not available then many agile coaches are often more than happy to serve this role. Or, if you’ve taken part in a formal Scrum Master training course then consider reaching out to your Scrum trainer as many trainers are happy to continue their relationships with their students beyond the classroom in this same capacity.

But, barring that, many coaches and Scrum Masters are also happy to engage in virtual mentoring arrangements. In these arrangements, a mentor will regularly engage with you in a virtual setting, often working through a very structured and productive mentoring relationship using video conferencing and other collaboration software.

Putting This Into Practice

Regardless of how you start, regularly interacting with other Scrum Masters and engaging in a broader practice of introspection and increased self-awareness will pay tremendous dividends for your growth as a Scrum Master.

You owe it to not only yourself but also your team to begin investing in improving your craft as a Scrum Master by putting these ideas into practice today.

Are you new to the Scrum Master role and are just trying to find your way? Or, are you an experienced Scrum Master who has your feet wet but now you're ready to take your craft to the next level? Check out my course series, Using the Scrum Framework, to learn how to set yourself apart as a Scrum Master and help your team reach their highest potential.

Don't have a Pluralsight membership yet? Try the entire Pluralsight course catalog free for 10 days here.

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