Facilitating Scrum Events

Last post 06:38 pm August 4, 2022
by Rick Gilbert
5 replies
07:23 pm July 19, 2022

I got a feedback from my new manager (Delivery Manager) that I need to work on my facilitation skills. I hold PSM 2 but facilitation was never the focus. I never had formal training in Scrum. Just learned everything hands-on. 

I got good feedback on other areas such as conflict resolution, coaching, etc. 

The problem seems to be particularly in backlog refinement (and sprint reviews sometimes). I am from a non-technical background who started off as a BA for less than 2 years and moved on to be a SM. 

I have checked the course details of various Scrum courses and couldn't find any targeting facilitation of Scrum Ceremonies.

Question: Are there any facilitation workshops, webinars that I can invest in? I will be paying for them myself, so want to pick the one that will really benefit me.


Thanks All!!

09:31 pm July 19, 2022

I got a feedback from my new manager (Delivery Manager) that I need to work on my facilitation skills. I hold PSM 2 but facilitation was never the focus.

I'm not surprised. It sounds like there are managers telling people what to do. That is not an environment within which facilitated events and outcomes are likely to thrive.

Why does this "manager" think that you, in particular amongst team members, needs to improve their facilitation skills? What do the team think and require?


09:51 pm July 19, 2022

I agree with @Ian.  He is focused on what really matters.  

I will add that facilitation is not a skill that is targeted to the type of work.  Facilitation is a wide skill that can benefit you in meetings, management, discussions, and education just to name a few.  It is an art form that helps people involved arrive at decisions as a group and not have one person tell them.  It helps groups focus on a common thread to arrive at a common point.  

You won't find anything specific about facilitation in the Scrum courses that I have seen.  It is something that you have to learn on your own.  Search for topics like "meeting facilitation skills" or "facilitation education".  There is a lot of free information available since you said you would be paying for this on your own.   You can even search for some techniques specific to Scrum such as "retrospective ideas".  

You mention that you do not have a technical background.  I have found that some of the best facilitators I have interacted with had no in-depth knowledge about the topics being discussed.  That can actually help you focus people when you have no vested interest in the discussions that are occurring.  

Good luck.  Adding this skill to your toolbox will help you out in a lot of ways for the rest of your life. 

11:14 pm July 19, 2022

I'm actually going to take this a step further and suggest that an SM facilitating Scrum events is a significant anti-pattern.


While being an effective facilitator is no doubt an important skill for an SM, the Scrum events are not the place an sM should be focussing, given the first responsibility of the SM to the team is coaching them in self management. 

While i would still advocate honing your facilitator toolbox, It sounds like a you need to help educate the manager in question about Scrum and the role of a Scrum Master as your first priority.


For what its worth, I've been thinking about creating a facilitation workshop for some time. It does seem like something that can be taught, but there isn't a lot of good content out there. I'll have a think about helping with that.


11:12 am July 20, 2022

Hey Rupa. Inspired by your post, I've started working on some material to guide growth of facilitation skills. 


Feel free to connect on LinkedIn as I'll eventually be looking to offer this as some sort of training module. 

06:51 am August 4, 2022

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/michael-lloyd-124621177_at-the-risk-of-h…  that a good one... very usefull.  thank you