A little secret to Scrum Master Survival

Developers produce code, testers produce quality, and what does a ScrumMaster produce then? A well working team is a common answer for question above. In my opinion, finding what to do is hard, yet finding how to do it properly is even harder. There are ton of articles out there which can tell you what you should be doing as a ScrumMaster, but not much of them will tell them how to do it right. Why? Because we all reckon in order to advise how things can be right, you have to experiment within the contexts. In this post, I will share some of my thoughts and learning since I have switched my role as to ScrumMaster.
Equip yourself with knowledge, don’t stop experimenting
Read, read and read! One of my most effective ways of finding ideas is to get it from others. And I have find reading books is a pretty good habits. It is always good to do some reading before applying things blindly as most of practices are coming with reasons. Though not every of them will bring direct benefits to team, I have little choice but to try it out still as only actual result will tell you if it works. Very often I am surprised by my own assumption. Time after time, I started to get used to it and learn that I only will grow further through inspect and adapt process. The quicker feedback loop you have, the quicker you will grow, provided you have good ears on it.

Start by making yourself presence for team
Since every of action that I began to take will have my team as the end point, they shall be the place where I can get my most accurate feedback too. Similarly when I am running out of ideas to do, team would be a good place for me to ask and find out if there are things they needed my help. I recognize that I won’t be a ScrumMaster by just having a title of it. I have to earn it! Thus, it’s important to ensure presence and ready whenever my help is needed by team. There will come a time where they come for me and that will be best time for me to earn their trust. Speaking about that, I will still need to be careful with my role as I understand my team last impediment will be me, myself.

Define scope of works
As a ScrumMaster in Titansoft, I have to decide the scope of works that I am willing to be involved to. No one is going to manage and tell me what to do. Sometimes it can be frustrating but, sometimes this freedom enable me exercise my mindfulness in working environment. I’ve learnt the complexity of software development industry that to build a well working team, I have to work with every aspect that affects my team, which includes product owners, other development teams, organizations, etc. I learn to be curious with how my product owners make their decisions, what technical practices that would set up my team well or even what we are trying to achieve with existing organization policies.

It never been an easy job to be a great ScrumMaster, but I am pleased as there are great learning opportunities along the way. I would advise you to find first thing that you want to do, and do not be afraid of trying it out. Then, you shall move from there. If you are running out of things that you can do, check this link, which was written by Michael James, and I am pretty sure that you will find ton of things to do.


Maryanto started his career as software developer and his exposure to Agility has brought him a ScrumMaster role. His interests include travelling, cooking and music.

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