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Scrum Master Studio Series: Frame# 1

March 14, 2018

In this series, I want to Introduce some helpful tips for Scrum Masters on “Systems Thinking” - a diagnostic Tool and a disciplined approach for examining problems more completely and accurately before acting.  Lights on! Camera ! 


Read the Scripts, Role Play , Post me back the experimentation!!


Action!!! 1.. 2 .. 3


Are you solving all the “Impediment of your teams” ? Then read on!!!


Today’s Impediments come from yesterday’s “Resolution”


One of the Services of a Scrum Master is to “serve” the Development Team  in several ways , the Scrum guide better articulated it, One of the Services include,

  • Removing impediments to the Development Team’s progress;


Often we are puzzled by the causes of our problems, when Scrum Masters are approached with an Impediment , the easiest way  to “Remove” the Impediment is to apply “Familiar” Solution to the problems, Sticking to what we know best. I would like to recall an ancient “Sufi Story”


“A passerby  encounters a drunk on his hands and knees under a Street lamp, He offers to help & finds out that the drunk is looking for his house keys. After several minutes, he asks, “Where did you drop your keys? “, the drunk replies that he dropped them outside his front door. Then why look for them here? asks the passerby. “Because”, says the drunk  there is no light by my doorway.


All find comfort applying “Familiar” Solution to problems Sticking to what we know best, but


“Scrum Masters are enablers than doers”


They enable teams to Solve their Impediments, After all if the solution for the Impediments were Obvious to everyone, it probably would have already been found. Pushing harder and harder on familiar Solutions & removing the Impediments so quickly will Self-defeat the Self-Organization.


Most Importantly, Scrum Masters look things from a Systemic View, Peter Senge in his book articulated very well, He says


The cure can be  worse than the disease


Sometimes the easy or quick Resolution of Impediments is not only ineffective; Sometimes it is addictive and dangerous. Alcoholism, for instance , may start as a Simple Social habit- a solution to the problem of low self-esteem or life relates stress. Gradually, the cure becomes worse than the disease


Resolving all the Impediments for the teams , will create a drastic local Optimization which is worse than the “Impediment”. The long-term , most insidious consequences of applying non-systemic solution is increased need for more and more of the solution.


Shifting the Impediment to the teams increases the Creativity of your teams, Constraints foster creativity in teams. Learning to handle this may be hard; Once Scrum Masters learn to Optimize things globally- The cure is permanent :)


Happy Scrum Mastering!!!!

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