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Where do I start as a new Scrum Master...

Last post 08:02 pm February 5, 2019 by Pat Lim
4 replies
04:52 pm January 31, 2019

Hello everyone,

I'm a new Scrum Master (both new in this role and this team). The team has run "Scrum" for a while. During my transitioning to this role, I've read a lot of threads/articles and been on CSM training. And I found out that team has done things differently.


- Team with 9 Developers (mix skills and still 'silo')

- Current Scrum Master is a part-time (one of developers currently plays Scrum Master role)

- PO used to be Technical Lead (We haven't had Business as PO yet)

- Still have Supervisor (Team still goes to Supervisor once there is a conflict)

The following are some of examples - But the team seemed to think that it's the right way to do (we still have agile coaches during this transformation)

- Team/PO create Backlog for everything including training, quarterly planning: everything that can eat up their capacity

- PO creates feature by quarter and adding new tasks (again, some features are not related to "Product" but anything that consume time from the team)

- Don't have 'Definition of ready/done', 'Sprint goal', etc.

- PO asked me as SM to estimate time for team T-Shape development (as one of the feature)


I'm very new so I'm very overwhelming and not sure where I should tackle first. And I'm not sure what they're currently done is considered 'anti-pattern' or not.

Appreciate any advice on this.



PS. As I'm not English speaker so apology for any poor grammar

09:18 am February 1, 2019

The Scrum Guide says:

”The Product Backlog is an ordered list of everything that is known to be needed in the product”

The Guide doesn’t say anything about it capturing the non-product work people might need to do.

My advice would be to start with the Scrum Guide, and to encourage great care about how Scrum words are used, and what they are understood to mean.

09:29 am February 1, 2019

Hi Pat, have you done any retrospective yet ?

When I don't know where to start, this is what I do, the problems often pop up themsleves, and then you can dig on the sources and more easilty prioritize what to do.

09:57 am February 1, 2019

Excellent! You already have a great 'to-do' list. Do others also have such lists?

Be brave and share your ideas with the team and the wider organisation to uncover the common view on current performance and what to improve. Prioritise (which improvements will bring most value, early?) and then work iteratively on those items and deliver incrementally. Include feedback loops. Celebrate success.

A humble way to address issues is to ask questions: E.g. (re lack of def goal/dod) ask po how he/she knows there will be a done increment at the end of the sprint; ask the dt how they know how the sprint is progressing.

Stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself why you didn't trust yourself to share the issues with your team. Add your answers to your backlog.

Start doing and you'll find out how to do better!

10:06 pm February 4, 2019

Thank you all for your great advices!!!