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How to stop intransparency?

Last post 12:01 pm July 24, 2023 by Jacek Markiewicz
4 replies
12:35 pm July 19, 2023

I am at my first job as a Scrum Master.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done here. One of the biggest problems is, that communication and transparency seem to be unkown actions. A while back I discussed with management how  important it is to create transparency and also majorly improve communication within the company and that the Scrum Master needs to be involved in the process... 

It has not improved at all and the leader of the developement department once again started things behind my back. Since it involves my teams, I believe I should be involved or at least be informed about such things. 

Instead it feels like he is actively trying to sabotage the work I am doing. 

I love being a Scrum Master, and I do what I possibly can to establish a healthy scrum (work) enviroment. There is only so much I can do when I am the only Scrum Master in the company and currently serving three teams. Well they believe I should be able to handle even more teams...  

I am at a point, where I want to take out the rolling pin and start beating sense into people.  

04:06 pm July 19, 2023

Discussing things with management isn't enough. They must create, communicate and reinforce a sense of urgency for change. Find out who actually wants Scrum in the organization, and why.

10:42 am July 23, 2023

It seems that the perimeter of each is not well defined, giving the impression of sabotage.

Clearly define or redefine the scope of each, with everyone's approval.

You need to find a lot of support in your task.

If there's a lack of communication and transparency, try to find out what they're afraid of. Then you'll have to build trust, and trust management to build trust. Have you had informal discussions with your bosses, over coffee for example?

08:53 am July 24, 2023

Good day, thanks for sharing your experience and asking for advice-it is also learning for all of us!

My opinion:

The first step is to change own mindset. Namely: instead of thinking "how to stop non transparency", to start thinking about "how to establish and increase transparency"

Once again it brings us to the issue of the environment where Scrum takes place.

The commitment of the environment to Scrum values should be never taken for granted. On the contrary, firms and institutions often resist proper application of Scrum, if it does not fit into organisational culture or the arrogance and power hunger of the bosses.

It's a job of the Scrum master to establish and promote Scrum through the organization and in the team. What techniques to use in this process is a different question: there are plenty from organising the workshops and coaching with leaders and managers, to one-to-one conversations over coffee. Product owners who are working on an EBM(evidence based management) matrix together with management can be a very important gateway to address the CEO, but first the team needs to bring him or her to their side.

Meanwhile fears and obstacles within the Scrum team should be addressed too. If they are just scared to be transparent-well please ask them to act transparent while scared.

And never waste the opportunities to address the issue at Sprint review and retrospective


12:01 pm July 24, 2023

One piece of advice I can give is to study some materials to equip yourself with psychological tools and knowledge on how to handle the human aspect of SM role, how to handle difficult conversations, win people etc.. We, Scrum Masters, are also humans having emotions and needs, which may impact how we see others and the situations around us. So, we also have to work on our mental part, practicing empathy, trying to see others from the positive side. This will help in challenging emotional situations. 


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