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as a scrum master, how can you bring transparency into your team?

Last post 01:17 pm December 23, 2022 by Joseph Abayomi Ajayi
6 replies
10:09 pm December 12, 2022

as a scrum master, how can you bring transparency into your team?

11:30 pm December 13, 2022

as a scrum master, how can you bring transparency into your team?

As a Scrum Master, how would you instill the Scrum values in order to enable trust and psychological safety to flourish? 

11:41 pm December 13, 2022

I would first start by identifying who is perceiving a lack of transparency and what they do not have transparency into. From there, it would be a combination of working with the person who needs transparency with understanding the team's way of working and the team in understanding the stakeholder's needs and desires.

11:57 pm December 13, 2022

as a scrum master, how can you bring transparency into your team?

A Scrum Master should be good at wondering. Wonder about the things you are seeing.

11:24 am December 14, 2022

I like Ian's wondering approach. Similar to this I often suggest ABC - Always Be Curious.

Transparency is key for the 3 formal Artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog and Increment). It is also key for our process and our progress.

A Scrum Master supports transparency in all of these areas. I would even suggest that we help with making the what's and the why's of the Scrum Framework transparent to our team to help them understand it and gain benefit from it.

Let's look at the Scrum Master's service to Product Owner as one example (from the guide)...

The Scrum Master serves the Product Owner in several ways, including:

  • Helping find techniques for effective Product Goal definition and Product Backlog management;

When artifacts such as the Product Backlog that have low transparency, inspection is tainted and this can lead to decisions that diminish value and increase risk. SM can support the PO in effective Product Goal definition to make the desired future state of the product transparent. With a clear and transparent Product Goal, the Product Backlog emerges to satisfy that goal. Effective Product Backlog management can include backlog prioritization and ordering techniques which supports transparency.

  • Helping the Scrum Team understand the need for clear and concise Product Backlog items;

Clear and concise Product Backlog items support transparency. Clear helps with understanding how an item adds value to the product. Concise supports making each item understandable and not overburdened with details.

  • Helping establish empirical product planning for a complex environment; and,

  • Facilitating stakeholder collaboration as requested or needed.

Product planning and stakeholder collaboration can also be tied into Transparency.

It could be worth taking a cruise through the rest of the Scrum Guide with a Transparency lens and see what other opportunities can be spotted.

What do you think?

04:05 pm December 14, 2022

Start with the team itself.  Does everyone on the team know what everyone else is doing?  Do they understand what the others are doing? Do they understand why it is important that the others do what they are?  And notice I said "team".  Does the Product Owner understand what the Developers are doing?  Do the Developers understand what the Product Owner is doing?  Does anyone understand what the Scrum Master is doing? 

If the team itself can start to understand the benefits of transparency among the members, it will start to become apparent to them how that transparency can also benefit those outside of the team. 

As both @Ian and @Ryan have said...start by asking questions about what you see but be sure to explain why you are asking.  It could be misunderstood as you are trying to manage/direct their work. 

01:17 pm December 23, 2022

In addition to Daniel's comment:

1. Does the stakeholders have a clear understanding-tranparency of what the entire Scrum Team are working on at every point in time?. 

2. Does the Stakeholder and the Scrum Team have visibility of progress towards the Sprint Goal?

3. Does the Scrum Master inspect the artifacts?

Sprint is a container for all other events and each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt something. 

The Scrum ceremonies are specifically designed to enable critical transparency and inspection. Failure to properly enact any of these events results in reduced transparency, reduces value and is a lost opportunity to inspect and adapt.

The transparency is the first significant aspects in the Scrum process that must be visible to those responsible for the outcome (Scrum Team) and the Stakeholders (customers) thus; a common sense of understanding of what is observed in Scrum Team's daily activities and the artifacts must be shared to enhance transparency. 

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