What Does a Team Want from Their Scrum Master?

By Zach Chapman - July 15, 2019

What Does a Team Want from Their Scrum Master?
July 15, 2019 By Zach Chapman

What Does a Team Want from Their Scrum Master?

What is a team looking for in a Scrum Master? Maybe you’re currently a Scrum Master, or you have been over the course of your career, with one or more Development Teams. A Scrum Master is not a mythical role, but it is complex. There are many responsibilities you have as a Scrum Master, but there are just a few things a team would prefer their Scrum Master to focus in on. When you do these things well you set yourself, and the Development Team, up for success.

Set the Guard Rails

what does a team want from their scrum master?

The Scrum Master has the important task of setting the guard rails. Within Agile, the idea is to let teams self-organize. However, that does not mean they can do anything they want. They should still be following the principles of Agile and Scrum. The Scrum Master is responsible for setting certain boundaries the team cannot change on their own, such as the length of a Sprint, or what work goes in and out of a Sprint mid-stream.  

The Scrum Master may also set roles or give authority to specific team members to perform certain tasks. These could include things like being in charge of the budget, or setting up team activities. A team can self-organize, but they should understand the boundaries.

Block Out the Noise

The Scrum Master also has the important task of blocking out the noise. The Development Team is likely to get a lot of pressure from stakeholders. Everyone wants results and they want them as quickly as possible. When they don’t get results as quickly as expected, they can end up putting a lot of stress on the developers. The team should work at a pace that suits them, not at a pace stakeholders are driving. To maintain quality and also ensure positive results, the Scrum Master has to block out the noise and maintain a safe environment for the Development Team.

Be the Cheerleader

Every Development Team needs a cheerleader, someone giving them a pep talk every once in a while and patting them on the back. The Scrum Master is the ideal cheerleader for a Development Team. When the team enjoys a win, the Scrum Master should be there to tell them it was a job well done. When warranted, congratulate them on a job well done, and encourage and support the team any way you can.

Publicize the Wins

The Scrum Master should also be the head publicist for the Development Team, trying to make the team look as good as possible. When the Development Team looks good, so does the Scrum Master. Starting a Sprint Review with a demonstration of what the team has built is a great way to publicize the wins along the way.

It is not a big secret about how to be a great Scrum Master. You are likely doing all these things already. The trick is to strike a balance between letting the Development Team do their own thing and managing expectations. By focusing on what is pivotal as a Scrum Master, everyone will benefit in the end. 

If you want to find out how you can support your team, consider joining our Advanced Certified Scrum Master course!

This is an in-depth, two-day immersion into the Scrum Master role where you’ll learn about

  • Agile Facilitation

  • Agile Coaching

  • Services to the Development Team

  • Coaching the Product Owner

  • Scaling Scrum

..and much, much more! Sign up or contact us to get more information!