motivator

Last post 12:05 pm September 17, 2020
by Nils Hyoma
8 replies
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05:46 pm September 15, 2020

Hi All

 

Is SM has to be a motivator for teams or individuals? I have been asking to motivate everyone frequently by the management.

 

Also do you know specific way "motivating" for teams and individuals? I always choose "talking" to reach out what demotivates them.

Thanks

09:15 pm September 15, 2020

Do management believe that autonomy, mastery, and a sense of purpose are key to motivating people who do complex work? If so, why do these appear to be lacking, and what can management do about it? Have you asked them for their help?

09:29 pm September 15, 2020

Terms like "motivate" and "motivation" don't appear in the Scrum Guide. I don't see any service provided by the Scrum Master that would indicate that motivating teams and individuals would be within the scope of what the Scrum Master would be responsible for, at least on the surface.

Different people are motivated by different things. Some people are motivated by money. Others by solving problems. Still others by learning new things. There are other examples. The Scrum Master role isn't responsible for adjusting the salary and benefits of the employees on the team. The Scrum Master isn't responsible for what team individuals work on. The Scrum Master isn't responsible for making sure that everyone is learning something new.

With respect to motivation, the Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the Scrum values and principles are in place. In an open, honest, and respectful environment, people should be able to talk about their motivations and bring up concerns when they don't feel motivated. As part of the Scrum Master's responsibilities to help create high-value products and remove impediments, perhaps you could make the case that identifying people who are struggling with motivation and helping them to raise concerns to the right people would be within the scope of the Scrum Master role.

I think the approach of talking first to understand why the individual is not motivated is the right first step. Depending on what the reasoning is, though, the Scrum Master may or may not be able to do much other than point people in the right direction.

12:03 am September 16, 2020

Employee satisfaction is one of the important goals in the Evidence Based Management Guide, thus an agile organisation should care. Motivation is one of the important aspects of management, anyway. In our modern world, however, motivation is an 'index' for the management who rarely meet in person with the ordinary value creators. This leads to quite interesting situations because the management handles motivation as a number which should be improved. They have KPIs and they delegate responsibilities accordingly.

There are quite weird consequences, e.g. once I worked at an organisation where the new management considered identifying impediments as toxic negativity. People who raised issues in good faith were reprimanded, as a reward. Killing the heralds of the bad news is an ancient habit of humans.

At another company, I witnessed a fairly absurd situation. Employees were requested to fill in an anonymous mood report. Actually it was not that anonymous, department code was collected indeed, and the result impacted the managers' KPIs. So what did the manager of the team which was in the worst mood according to the report do? Would you guess, started a mood-lifting campaign with lots of symbolic and practical elements? No, he organised a 'how dare you' meeting, demanding reasons and menacing the subordinates with consequences. After all, they have ruined his KPI and risked his bonus.

Back to the theory of motivation. In short, most people are motivated when they have a (challenging) goal which they appreciate (and probably participated in setting it), they have the skills to get there, they feel part of the solution and they feel respected. Nothing could be more in line with Scrum. The Scrum Master motivates the team by making sure Scrum rules and Scrum values are in place, regularly discussing the details with the team, actively seeking feedback if they also find it all right. I would expect a sensible manager to appreciate and support this approach.

01:33 pm September 16, 2020

SM's primary responsibility would be to motivate people in the adoption and mastery of Scrum. However, this is not explicit either in Scrum Guide or references. One way to imbibe this and motivate the team is by working on yourself. Self-awareness, humility, and compassion tend to motivate and influence a large majority across the board in any organization.

01:40 pm September 16, 2020

I don't think one can motivate someone else. In my opinion, motivation comes from self.

But Servant Leaders like Scrum Masters can work on creating an environment within wich people can thrive.

11:48 pm September 16, 2020

Some companies will have rewards for teams / individuals who get the most work done in an allotted time. Or the team that innovates the most. There is the concept of gamification here, but there was to be a reward to "motivate" somebody to do more. Does your department have a budget for gift cards for cafes or a popular online store?

11:26 am September 17, 2020

Hi Mark

Actually we have budget. What do you recommend me?

Thanks

12:05 pm September 17, 2020

Some companies will have rewards for teams / individuals who get the most work done in an allotted time. Or the team that innovates the most. There is the concept of gamification here, but there was to be a reward to "motivate" somebody to do more. Does your department have a budget for gift cards for cafes or a popular online store?

Be careful with extrinsic motivation! I suggest Daniel Pinks book about motivation. You will find it here:

https://www.scrum.org/resources/suggested-reading-professional-scrum-product-owner

 

Also do you know specific way "motivating" for teams and individuals?

Troika Consulting with the question "What motivates you?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?"  It helps the team members to motivate each other.