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Diagnosing the health of Scrum team

Last post 01:23 pm March 27, 2023 by Nicholas Gabrichidze
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01:23 pm March 27, 2023

Its considered that Scrum team should have the "Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage"

Most Scrum masters and Product owners inform the developers about that, and presume that team members will have this virtues by default. for granted

In the world of robots-may be; but human beings have natural tendency to become unmotivated, lazy or disrespectful. To lie or to get scared. That's what makes us human after all.

So if Scrum team does not perform well enough, is stagnating, or worse, does not deliver, then may be the root of problems is the mental state of the team?

That's why, apart from velocity, things I like to measure is Scrum team mental health. Preferably in should happen at Project vision or Spring planning, where actual levels of Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage can be measured...

Ideally this can be done at each Sprint Planning and each Retrospective.


This can be done in many ways, preferably using Scrum poker, or simple vote. The best way to do the mental health diagnostic is to ask every team member to give the evaluation of each value("Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage") openly, using Fibonacci sequence as a measurement. With 100 being an ideal situation, and 1-the worst possible

The average number for each value/virtue should be calculated. 

After that, Scrum master should ask to do same thing through Scrum poker, but anonymously, and compare the numbers.

This will be great illustration for establishing the mental picture of the Scrum team.

The openly declared difference between 100 and the average number for each virtue("Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage") will show you the state of team mentality which team actually admits to itself.

Difference between public and secret ballot, which almost always presents a lower number, displays the difference between the actual situation in each aspect and the picture the team is ready to admit to itself

Having this calculation at each retrospective, an each planning will help everyone in the team to see which aspects of team mentality are strong and healthy, and which ones are causing impediments, and need some cure...

But how team should cure the lost Commitment, luck of Focus, not enough Openness, disrespect, and absence of Courage?

What can Scrum master and product owner do to help the team?

I have learnt some methods in a past experiences, which I will gladly publish, but first it will good to hear the experience of others-please comment below...

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