The Liberators
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The Liberators

Five Things Every Starting Scrum Master Should Know

(And that should benefit experienced Scrum Masters too)

1. Take it to the team

“When in doubt, when faced with a question on how to do something, when faced with an impediment: ask your team — including yourself— how they should handle this and then work together to actually do that.”

2. Do a Scrum Reboot with your team

  1. What is the purpose of this team, and the product it is creating?
  2. Who is part of this team and who are its stakeholders?
  3. What minimal set of rules do we need to follow as a team to manage the complexity of our work while at the same delivering value to our stakeholders?
A great way to do a reboot is with the Liberating Structure Purpose-to-Practice, as we did here at the ANWB.

“A hard lesson I learned too many times, is that you really should reboot the team by bringing your team together as early as possible to answer three core questions”

3. Start with the stakeholders

Getting actual stakeholders to join your Sprint Reviews, and be available during Sprints, may be challenging, but they provide the lifeblood for effective Scrum (picture by Christiaan Verwijs).

“So in your very first Sprints, work with your Product Owner and your team to identify where the stakeholders are and how you can involve them right now.”

4. Find help in the community

Bringing Scrum Masters together to talk about what they can improve together is a great way to find help, and to give it to others. This is a meetup we organized with Agile Akademiet in Copenhagen.

5. Be kind (to what is already there)

“Firmly consider yourself as part of the team, and to not put yourself above them”

“By combining humility and kindness with radical transparency, you create a safe environment where your Scrum Team — which includes you — can improve continuously in their ability to work empirically.”

Closing Words

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The Liberators: Unleash The Superpowers Of Your Team

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Christiaan Verwijs

I liberate teams & organizations from de-humanizing, ineffective ways of organizing work. Passionate developer, organizational psychologist, and Scrum Master.