Tips on how to be a Scrum Master on a High Performing Team

Tips on how to be a Scrum Master on a High Performing Team

A really good question for a Scrum Master is imagine a team where everything’s working well. There’s a good engineering culture, strong engagement with the product owner. All the metrics indicate that it’s a high performing team. You’ve just started work as a Scrum master in that team. What do you do? what’s your role in that position?

A team agreement in that position is really important. Because it’s light touch, it’s observation, it’s coaching, it’s facilitation. Whereas if you come into an immature team it’s a completely different role, it needs to be more instructional, teaching, there are different stances needed. And perhaps, I think, what some junior Scrum Masters aren’t taught always is that to be a Scrum master is to be adaptable to the situation that you’re coming into, to think that you’re going to be the same kind of scrum master, or take the same stance with every team is probably flawed. You can’t always be a coach, because a junior or intermediate team who are relatively new to an agile framework, they need more than that, they need someone to be more like a teacher.

Its a crucial part of being a Scrum Master, is the ability to figure out what’s working with one team and what’s working with another team.

I learned that when I started working with more than one team, trying the same experiment or the same process change in the two teams at the same time, and seeing different results. I mean, how much more information do you need? It’s like one team loves it, the other team hates it. Okay, this is a good data set. So, yeah, every team is different. 

Barry Overeem calls it the stances of the Scrum master, the kind of default role that you’re expected to play in a particular context. I really like that idea because in order to develop in the role as a Scrum master probably means getting better at those stances that you are not as comfortable in, look at those four stances that Gunther Verheyen has or the eight that Barry has and ask yourself, am I good at all of those? Can I do more to develop myself in any of these? And, you know, personally, I found Barry’s paper really, really strong., I’d recommend it to any Scrum master out there.

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