Personal KPI for Scrum Master

Last post 09:00 pm October 8, 2020
by Ian Mitchell
13 replies
02:14 pm March 9, 2020

Hi there!


I am Scrum Master in two Teams, which develop products for in house use. 
My boss told me that I need to set some personal goals/kpi for one year to get a financial bonus.
Actually, it is the first time, someone asks me to set personal kpi as far as SM is the part of the Team and Team kpi is more important than the personal contribution.
Moreover, I have no idea, how to measure Scrum Master's work.

Do you have any ideas of personal goals in this case?

02:47 pm March 9, 2020

Why not get started on the PSM series of accreditations? They would be personal to you.

03:16 pm March 9, 2020

Plus 1 on the PSM certifications. I'd also add something like ensuring retro items are put into action, having coaching/working sessions with PO on effective backlog management, positive 180 feedback from team members (as in your team members are surveyed on your effectiveness and service to the team). 

04:13 pm March 9, 2020

Teams meeting targets sprint on sprint is measurable.

04:16 pm March 9, 2020

+1 for all of the above.  I once had the same opportunity and I actually put one in that really confused my boss unitl I explained it.  The KPI was 

Attend 1 Daily Scrum per team for the duration of their sprint

I explained that it shows I am being successful in my duty to help the team appreciate the value of the event if I am not needed to attend and the team is still being successful.   Sometime a KPI can be about doing something less instead of doing something more. 

I have a new mantra around my Scrum Master role.  It is great to be wanted but better to not be needed. 

04:16 pm March 9, 2020

Also Self organised teams. Can your teams deliver content without help from you or others outside of the team. This is also measurable, set a deadline for yourself and coach the teams to become self organized withing that deadline.

07:48 am March 10, 2020

Thank you all for your answers!
Hope, that some ideas will be accepted as my personal kpi.

Unfortunately, the company do not want to pay for my PSM accreditation.

Btw, is it correct to set personal goals to Scrum Master instead of team goals?

08:59 am March 10, 2020

I think it is ok to have personal goals. Because even if you are part of a team, you also have your own free will and everyone has its own goal for the future. To be a servant leader doesn't mean you don't have your own purpose and vision. In the 5 phases of a team, there is also Adjourning, so what will you do after? What is your goal in 5 years ? Contrary to that, if your personality is hyper collaborative and motivates you more, you can also take only team goals. It is up to you :)

Moreover, you can have a mix with personal and team goals (as people have shown different team goals, mesaures as objectives).
You can also try to tell your boss that setting a goal for the whole team can motivate them, and you are also part of the team.

For PSM it is an investment :
in knowledge, because you will try to look more into the field while preparing for the exam. And it will help you improve as in the end you will see more clearly where you lack the most. Your gained knowledge will benefit to the team also.

in money, if you pay 150$ and your objective is giving you an increase 500$ per year, you see the math. I don't know your country, but in France, we have a small budget each year, cumulative to spend on taking classes. Maybe there are things similar in your country ?

Good luck in your choosing :)

01:13 pm March 10, 2020

Thank you for your answer, Laurent
Unfortunately, PSM means nothing to my boss except money waste, so he said it is not the personal goal he would like to set. The problem is, that financial motivation is buried beneath the personal kpi, and my personal kpi must be more profitable for company and less profitable for me as an employee. 

10:24 pm March 10, 2020

my personal kpi must be more profitable for company and less profitable for me as an employee. 

That doesn't sound very equitable, and may be intolerable if it also applies to your team members. When I have found myself in that situation, which is common enough, I have a personal KPI of leaving well. I haven't always been successful at this which indicates it is a real challenge.

10:02 am March 11, 2020

As always Ian words contain wisdom.
The more profitable for the company and less for me is not something that you should agree. 
In negociation, you should have heard of the win/win concept.
But I prefer the concept of elevating both persons (be it a physical person or a company). Because, in win/win it is just some gain, but with elevating you want to help the person in front of you to reach too the best and highest state, be it financial or something that can be less measured.

Also don't forget yourself. If you forget yourself, you won't be satisfied inside, it won't be good for you and your work in the future. If we speak about agile mindset, in the agile manifesto there is a principle:
Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely..
If you always forget yourself for the company, how will it be a sustainable pace?

Don't compromise, elevate the other and yourself.

04:22 pm October 8, 2020

I am working as a scrum master and I am in a similar situation. My manager is insisting on having atleast one tangible outcome from me (not from the scrum team) to evaluate my performance. Any suggestions please. 

08:02 pm October 8, 2020

If you look at the Scrum Master's services to the Scrum Team and the organization, as described in the Scrum Guide, do you see any outcomes that could be achieved; for example in the results achieved, the actions of individuals and teams, the waste provided by ways of working, or the amount of transparency provided over organizational impediments?

And to view it from another angle, do you see anything in the Scrum Guide that suggests such ways of evaluating performance are an impediment to effective use of Scrum?

09:00 pm October 8, 2020

My manager is insisting on having atleast one tangible outcome from me (not from the scrum team) to evaluate my performance. Any suggestions please

What does your manager actually manage? If he or she helps to shape organizational outcomes, then the service you provide to the organization may be of interest. How are you helping the enterprise to become more agile, and how is its agility being measured?

When agile outcomes are unclear or poor, my approach is to clarify that I appear to be failing as a Scrum Master, and to ask organizational leadership for their help, so I might then succeed.