Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Scrum Master characteristics: From Good to Great

A fantastic blog post from Geoff Watts (inspectandadapt.com) enumerated desirable characteristics of good Scrum Masters, and how to take them to the next level in Towards a Definition of a Great Scrum Master. He used elements of the list in his book: Scrum Mastery: From Good to Great Servant-Leadership.

I've added categories and reformatted the original list for reference and readability:

Accountability
A good ScrumMaster will hold team members to account if needed.
A great ScrumMaster will hold the team to account for not holding team-mates to account.

Communication
A good ScrumMaster encourages people to talk to each other.
A great ScrumMaster encourages people to listen to each other.

A good ScrumMaster says what needs to be said.
A great ScrumMaster knows the power of silence.

Growth
A good ScrumMaster helps every member of the team grow. 
A great ScrumMaster encourages growth as a team. 

A good ScrumMaster notices areas for improvement in the team. 
A great ScrumMaster recognises & highlights strengths of the team for them to build on.

A good ScrumMaster will coach the team to succeed. 
A great ScrumMaster allows failure & encourages the team to learn from their mistakes (from Christina Ohanian).

A great ScrumMaster is chosen by the team and Product Owner. 
When she's done all she can, it's time for another great ScrumMaster (from Mike James).

Servant-Leadership
A good ScrumMaster serves the team. 
A great ScrumMaster fosters servant-leadership throughout the team. 

A good ScrumMaster  is wary of influencing the team with what they say & do. 
A great ScrumMaster can act normally and the team still make their own decisions.

A good ScrumMaster will be indispensable to a team. 
A great ScrumMaster will make themselves dispensable. And wanted.

A good ScrumMaster asks to understand so they can serve. 
A great ScrumMaster asks so the team understands and can serve itself.


Teamwork
A good ScrumMaster helps teams use "yes, but" effectively. 
A great ScrumMaster helps teams find more space for "yes, and".

A good ScrumMaster facilitates co-operation between people. 
A great ScrumMaster facilitates collaboration.

A good ScrumMaster listens to what is said in the daily scrum. 
A great ScrumMaster listens to what is not said in the daily scrum.

A good ScrumMaster will help maintain team harmony. 
A great ScrumMaster will guide a team through disharmony to reach a new level of teamwork.

Inspect and Adapt
A good ScrumMaster helps a team meet their definition of done at the end of a sprint. 
A great ScrumMaster helps a team extend their definition of done.

A good ScrumMaster will help teams optimise their process. 
A great ScrumMaster will help the team get past process.

A good ScrumMaster helps the team hold a balanced retrospective. 
A great ScrumMaster helps the team hold a focused retrospective.

Working with the Product Owner
A good ScrumMaster facilitates the Sprint Review so the team gets to demo to the Product Owner . 
A great ScrumMaster ensures that the PO is already aware so the demo can be for other stakeholders.

A good ScrumMaster will be a bridge between the Product Owner and the team. 
A great ScrumMaster will reduce the need for a bridge.

A good ScrumMaster helps write stories so team is ready for sprint planning. 
A great ScrumMaster helps the Product Owner  make time before and during the Sprint to write and talk to the team.

Relationship to the larger organization
A good ScrumMaster protects the team from distraction. 
A great ScrumMaster finds the root cause of those distractions and eliminates them.

A good ScrumMaster helps a Scrum team survive in an organisation's culture. 
A great ScrumMaster helps change the culture so Scrum teams can thrive.

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