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crum Master’s Role in Spring Planning

Last post 06:40 am May 14, 2016 by Olivier Ledru
4 replies
02:57 pm May 11, 2016

Scrum Master’s Role in Spring Planning.

If Product Owner reads and explains the User Stories and team members estimate using planning poker, then what Scrum Master does in spring planning?
Assuming that team is matured in Agile/Scrum

05:50 pm May 11, 2016

Abhay, stating that a team is mature in Agile/Scrum can imply a number of many different things.

Often, the role of the Scrum Master in any Scrum Ceremony is to ensure that Scrum is being followed. It could be as an interested observer, or as a more involved participant in the meeting.

Some questions to consider regarding Sprint Planning (Part 1 and Part 2), and the maturity of the Development Team:

What is the relationship between the Product Owner and the team? Is the team capable of independently meeting with the PO to solicit the upcoming Sprint offer?

Is the team willing to facilitate their own Sprint Planning Part 2 meeting?

Will they walk through each story and discuss the story readiness in comparison to their Definition of Ready? Are they willing to engage their PO during SP2 with any questions or issues?

Do they know how to calculate and evaluate their upcoming sprint capacity?

Can they compare the offer to their current velocity, without needing to examine the offered stories or make any determination on which team member(s) will work on which stories?

Is the team considering the impact of any improvement initiative in their sprint capacity?

06:18 pm May 11, 2016

Abhay, you're right that Spring Planning involves the entire Scrum team.

In short, the Scrum Master is part of Spring planning in order to accomplish her primary purpose: that Scrum is understood and enacted.

A Scrum Master primarily is present. (S)he listens, reacts to the needs of the PO and dev team, instructs, facilitates, and understands the dev teams plan. This last part is important. Crafting the Spring Goal and the Spring Backlog is a collaborative effort that consists of simple, human interaction and communication. The SM's input is crucial if an understanding of Scrum is weak or new.

Eventually, the effective SM will find his/her participation in the Spring Planning (and any Scrum event) should wane. This is IMHO the primary measure of an SM's effectiveness as it indicates the dev team has learned and is practicing self-organization and the PO has learned and is practicing effective product leadership.

Does that help? Do you have follow up questions?

11:48 pm May 11, 2016

Thank you Timothy and Jason
it's great explanation.

@Jason, I like this sentence: "the effective SM will find his/her participation in the Spring Planning (and any Scrum event) "

06:40 am May 14, 2016

The Scrum Guide states :
The Scrum Master served the DT and the PO by "Facilitating Scrum events as requested or needed."
I often see Scrum Teams interpreting it as "the ScrumMaster is the facilitator of every events"

If the Scrum Team is mature, then the Scrum Master doesn't have to be the facilitator of any event.
I often introduce the "delegate roles" approach where each Retro is facilitated by a different member of the team. I like this approach very much to build self-organization.

When the Scrum Master is not facilitating events, she/he can perform its much more interesting and difficult duty as a true coach.

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