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Resources for Growing as a Scrum Master

 

Enhance your Scrum Master Journey

Embarking on a journey as a Scrum Master is a challenging and rewarding endeavor. As you step into this accountability, you'll find yourself at the crossroads of collaboration, leadership, and continuous improvement - a position that is critical to deliver value effectively.

These core tenets of the Scrum Master Accountability are addressed in the following collection of articles and videos that contain practical ideas, tips, and activities with step-by-step guidelines that you can try immediately. 

Bookmark or save and return to those articles often; you can find your saved articles in your Scrum.org profile under Saved Content. 

 


The Scrum Master's Accountabilities

Learn more about the Scrum Master's accountabilities, what it takes to be a Professional Scrum Master and some common myths about Scrum Masters.

Learning Series
The Scrum Master is accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness and for establishing Scrum as it is defined in the Scrum Guide. Excellent Scrum Masters help their teams deliver value. They can help transform a team that struggles, into a team that delivers value every Sprint.
Web Page
Core Courses for Scrum MastersIn the Applying Professional Scrum™ course, work together with other students as a team in a series of Sprints to solve complex problems, facing similar challenges that they face outside of class and learning how to use Scrum to address them. As a Scrum Master, you lear...

 

 

 


Understanding and Applying the Scrum Framework

Familiarity with the Scrum framework is the first step to using Scrum. Using Scrum to its best advantage requires a deeper understanding of Scrum theory and practice. Explore the following resources to take a deeper dive into some practical aspects of the framework.

Learning Series
In Scrum, empiricism refers to the idea that solving complex problems, or doing complex work, can only be done using an exploratory process rather than relying on predetermined plans. Learn about empiricism and complex work. Explore why trust is important for empiricism to thrive.
Module
For agility to thrive, the culture of the organization must support the fundamental concepts of agility. The Scrum Values - Focus, Respect, Openness, Commitment, and Courage - create an environment where empiricism, self-management and continual improvement are more successful.
4.7 from 42 ratings
Learning Series
The Scrum Team is a small unit of professionals focused on attaining the Product Goal. Scrum Teams consist of a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Developers. Each has a clear set of accountabilities. Learn more about the Scrum Team, accountabilities, responsibilities and why these aren’t called “roles.”

 

Learning Series
The five Scrum Events provide regular opportunities for enacting the Scrum pillars of Inspection, Adaptation and Transparency. In addition, they help teams keep aligned with the Sprint and Product Goals, improve Developer productivity, remove impediments and reduce the need to schedule too many additional meetings.
Module
In archeology, an artifact is an object of cultural significance. In medicine, artifacts are something not normally present, or unexpected. In Scrum, our use of the word “artifact” is closer to the way software developers use it: important information needed during the development of a product. ...
4.4 from 13 ratings
Learning Series
The best way to support a team working on complex problems is to give them the space to determine how to do their work, rather than directing them. Learn about self-managing teams and their characteristics. Explore some myths and misunderstandings about self-management.

 


How to be more effective as a Scrum Master

As a Scrum Master, you are accountable for the Scrum Team’s effectiveness. But what does that mean and how might you do it? 

The following resources are a great first step in exploring what team effectiveness is and dives into  some key Scrum Master techniques like how to enable Scrum and its purpose and how to encourage a continuous improvement mindset.

Learning Series
There is no one direct path to become a great Scrum Master. However, we've assembled a few insights and ideas on topics such as driving toward goals, living the Scrum Values, enabling collaboration, removing obstacles, instilling self-management, promoting psychological safety, and encouraging a continuous improvement mindset.

 


Joining a Scrum Team

As a Scrum Master joining a Scrum Team, you’ll want to get to know the team, understand their needs, challenges, goals, the organizational environment in which they work and who the stakeholders are. 

The following resources offer tools to help a new Scrum Master assimilate into the team and get familiar with their new environment. 

Learning Series
As a new Scrum Master you’ll want to get to know your team, the people outside of your team that you’ll work with, including stakeholders to help the team improve at delivering value. To help you get started, here are some questions and tips to consider when you join a new team as a Scrum Master and suggestions on building collaborative relationships.

 


Encouraging collaboration on the Scrum Team

Working together on shared goals is a key aspect of a Scrum Team’s success. The following resources provide several techniques to help a Scrum Master promote a collaborative environment including steps on how to create a team working agreement as well as a video on how to create a team’s first Definition of Done.

Learning Series
To help ensure that the work the Scrum Team delivers is valuable, they need to work together, share ideas and responsibilities and have team ownership while also working closely with their stakeholders, including customers and end users.

 


Enabling effective Scrum Events

Often, Scrum events don’t go as planned. Good, lightweight facilitation can help the Scrum Teams get back on track. The following resources provide techniques for facilitating the Scrum Events as well as offering tips for Product Backlog refinement. 

Module
Scrum events create regularity and transparency and minimize the need for meetings not defined in Scrum. The events are the Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective, and the Sprint. Often, Scrum events don’t go as planned. Good, lightweight facilitation can help the Scrum Te...
4.7 from 44 ratings
 
Module
Product Backlog items (PBI) evolve over time. They start as vague ideas and are improved as more information is uncovered. Eventually they are well enough defined that they can be brought onto a Sprint Backlog. The activity of continually improving PBIs until they are ready to be worked on is cal...
4.9 from 10 ratings

Dealing with Impediments

Scrum Masters should help the team learn how to address and resolve impediments. These resources offer advice on learning how to identify, create transparency around and resolve impediments.

Module
Scrum Master job descriptions typically include the following: “Help remove impediments for the team” or “Accountable for removing impediments”. Organizations clearly find impediment removal to be an important aspect of the role. But what is meant by impediments? Should a Scrum Master remove all the...
5 from 1 rating

Developing People and Teams

As Scrum Masters increasingly support Scrum Team members, as well as other members of the organization.

Learning Series
The ways that leaders present themselves and interact with their colleagues can either support agility, or defeat it. Learn the difference between leaders and managers and the traits of an agile leadership style. Explore why we speak more about agile leadership and not servant leadership.

 

 

 

Guiding colleagues toward continuous self and team improvement requires a Scrum Master to have skills in facilitation, coaching, mentoring and teaching, as well as the understanding of when to use each.

Learning Series
Facilitation can be used to lead people toward agreed-upon objectives in a manner that encourages participation, ownership and creativity by all involved. Learn about the principles of facilitation, skills and traits of a facilitator, how to facilitate diverse perspectives and explore some facilitation techniques for the Scrum Events.
Learning Series
The coach’s job is to be a process expert, enabling those they are coaching to achieve their goals using skills such as developmental conversations, active listening and asking thought-provoking questions. Learn a few of the coaching principles, traits and skills of a coach, and why coaching is beneficial for Scrum Teams.
Learning Series
Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship in which a mentor provides guidance to a mentee to help the mentee reach their goals. It’s often confused with coaching. Learn why mentoring is beneficial for Scrum Team, mentoring principles, skills and traits of a mentor as well as the traits of a mentee.

 

Learning Series
Anyone can act as a teacher, helping your colleagues obtain new knowledge or learn new skills. However, if you want to become a very effective teacher, it’s best if you learn a few of the principles of the teaching profession, the skills and traits of a teacher and when teaching can be helpful for a Scrum Team.
Module
When to use Facilitation, Coaching, Mentoring or Teaching We often use the words “coaching,” “mentoring,” “teaching,” and “facilitating” informally. We may say that we're being coached on how to become a better golfer, or that the person managing the agenda in a meeting is the meeting's facilitat...
4.7 from 19 ratings

 

 


Test Yourself

The Scrum Master Improvement self-assessment will guide you through a series of questions and based on your answers you will receive recommendations for a variety of curated learning resources to help you grow to better support your teams.

Self-Assessment
Together with Comparative Agility, Scrum.org offers a self-assessment to help you grow as a Scrum Master. This tool helps you evaluate your Scrum Master skills and assess areas for improvement based on the Professional Scrum Competencies by Scrum.org.
4.5 from 15 ratings

 

 

 

The Professional Scrum Master™ I (PSM I) certification validates your knowledge of the Scrum framework, the Scrum Master accountabilities and how to apply Scrum. 

PSM I Logo

People who have passed PSM I, achieving certification, demonstrate a fundamental level of Scrum mastery. PSM I certificate holders prove that they understand Scrum as described in the Scrum Guide and how to apply Scrum in Scrum Teams.  PSM I holders have a consistent terminology and approach to Scrum. 

 

The Professional Scrum Master™ II (PSM II) certification validates your ability as a Scrum Master to apply the Scrum framework, support Scrum Teams and solve complex problems in the real world. 

PSM II Certification Badge

 

People who have passed PSM II, achieving certification, demonstrate an advanced level of Scrum mastery. PSM II certificate holders prove that they have an understanding of the underlying principles of Scrum and can effectively apply Scrum in complex, real-world situations.

 


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