What does it take to be a great ScrumMaster?
When I was in my early years as a Scrum Trainer, circa 2011, it was noticeable to me that while there was a plethora of content out there explaining the role of the ScrumMaster and what qualities you want in a person for the role, there was very little written about how to improve or become better at the role, especially for newly certified ScrumMasters, fresh out of the training workshop.
Doing a Google search today, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot has changed.
Scrum by Example is meant to empower readers to become excellent in their practice of Scrum. We’ll examine many of the real-world challenges new ScrumMasters deal with, especially in work environments where Scrum has been only recently introduced or is not applied consistently.
Scrum by Example is written as an episodic story, with a small cast of characters and a simple fictional product. In each episode, there will be a breakdown of a specific problem or issue, as well as information and advice for how to handle it, whether you are a ScrumMaster or in any of the Scrum roles.
The Product – The World’s Smallest Online Bookstore (smallestonlinebookstore.com), is meant to be a consumer-use platform for buying books online. I originally imagined it as a foil for Amazon (back when they sold only books), showing that consumers don’t want an infinite range of choices for books, what they want is help making the right choice for their next book purchase.
Steve – The “protagonist” of Scrum by Example. Steve is a newly certified ScrumMaster and part of the software development team building the World’s Smallest Online Bookstore. While he has 10 years of experience in software, he has no practical Scrum experience, as this is his company’s first foray into Agile.
Paula – The Product Owner for the World’s Smallest Online Bookstore. Like Steve, she is also new to Scrum, but unlike him, hasn’t received any training or certification for her role yet, beyond reading a couple of books. An experienced product manager, she is open to learning the role but is a little uncertain about what needs to be done and how it is different from being a manager.
The Team – And then there’s the Development Team. This is a group of developers, designers, QA testers, analysts, all working together to deliver the Product to the customer.
Members of the Team, along with a few other characters, will be introduced as the story progresses.
Check out the list below to find an article that interests you:
- Same Old Song in Sprint Retrospective
- How Sprint Planning Mistakes Can Derail a Team
- Team Friction Inspires Working Agreements
- How to Handle Production Support Issues in Scrum UPDATED
- The Story of an Incomplete Sprint UPDATED
- Product Backlog Refinement in Action UPDATED
- How to Deal with Bad User Stories as a ScrumMaster
- Scrum Anti-Patterns & Unplanned Work Disrupting the Sprint
- Feeling Pain From Your Daily Scrum?
- Stuck Waiting for Other Teams
- The Trouble with Sprint Burndowns
- ScrumMaster for Three Teams? What are the Alternatives?
- Overtime on a Scrum Team is an Unhealthy Sign
- A Tale of Two Daily Scrums
- Lifecycle of a User Story
- Technical User Stories (or The Team Try to Pull a Fast One on the Product Owner)
- The Team Collaborate on Acceptance Criteria
- Waiting Too Long to Create Acceptance Criteria
- Story Splitting Fun
- Learning How to Estimate
- Cascade’s Team Discover Scrummerfall
- New People on the Team
- The Team Learn How to Learn
- Stop Digging New Holes
- Technical Debt is Slowing the Team
- The Team Gets Bottlenecked
- Impediments are Holding Back the Team
- More Interruptions
Mark Levison has been helping Scrum teams and organizations with Agile, Scrum and Kanban style approaches since 2001. From certified scrum master training to custom Agile courses, he has helped well over 8,000 individuals, earning him respect and top rated reviews as one of the pioneers within the industry, as well as a raft of certifications from the ScrumAlliance. Mark has been a speaker at various Agile Conferences for more than 20 years, and is a published Scrum author with eBooks as well as articles on InfoQ.com, ScrumAlliance.org an AgileAlliance.org.