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As Scrum masters, are we really facilitating the events?

When asked what facilitation is, I have heard Scrum masters describe it as

Is this really facilitation?

Facilitation originates from the Latin word facile, which means ‘to make it easy.’

The facilitator is thus the person who makes things easier for others.

Facilitation is a stance that is closely associated with the Scrum master role, primarily

The intent of the Scrum master’s stance as a facilitator should be to enable self-management and increase the team’s effectiveness to achieve better outcomes.

The outcome is the team’s responsibility when facilitating events, and the Scrum master is there to help arrive at it.

By facilitating events, the Scrum master helps tap into the team’s collective intelligence and ensures the team’s ownership and commitment to it.

Though Scrum masters are knowledgeable and have a contingent interest in the outcome, they do not let this influence the team’s work or the decisions.

To be an effective facilitator, the Scrum master takes a neutral stance regarding content and the intended outcome.

The Scrum master, however, is not neutral to the decision-making process and actively contributes by diagnosing and intervening as needed.

The facilitator role of the Scrum master is particularly beneficial given the complexity of the work the teams are dealing with and the cross-functional team’s diverse perspectives and interests.

The Scrum master will take on diverse perspectives of creativity, consensus, collaboration, and creative conflict resolution to create and sustain a participatory environment for the teams to engage, design, and own their outcomes.

Effective facilitation of the Scrum master tackles the power dynamics in the team and provides an environment where all voices and perspectives are heard and have influence.

The Scrum master, as a facilitator, enables self-management by setting up a participatory approach to decision-making and moving away from cascading decisions of the traditional top-down approach.

Facilitation enables collective ownership, improves capability building, and dramatically increases the probability of successful team and organizational change.

The typical pattern seen in great facilitators is their unwavering belief that

The key indicator of effective facilitation is when the team feels they did the work and are accountable for the outcome.

So, are we really facilitating?



We are a group of agile coaches and software developers focus on developing customer-centric products using the Scrum framework.

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