Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ScrumMasters: if you're stuck, ask the team

Sometimes being a ScrumMaster can feel a little lonely especially in a small company, but you are not alone. You're there to help the team, but the team can also help you. Sometimes is feels like you have to have an answer to everything, but no-one is expected to know everything.

There will be times when you get stuck. If you do, ask the team for help.

Today our team had our bi-weekly retrospective. Going into it I felt unprepared as I couldn't think of a particular focus area. I asked the team beforehand if there was anything they wanted to focus on, but no-one could come up with any ideas.

I'm not a big fan of doing a general retrospective as they can be pretty scattershot and don't really do a deep dive into anything. Instead we started out with a brainstorming session on ideas for a retrospective focus. After some time and silence team members suggested a few topics. I decided to add one which was basically about generating focus ideas. The team voted and agreed on my focus idea. From there we generated some great action items around collecting more data that we can focus on. Amongst other things we're going to capture information about events within the sprint as they happen. We're also going to start collecting each team member's mood rating on a daily basis.

The team recognised the fact that a clear focus area isn't always obvious, especially if the sprint has gone well. I feel that the ideas that were generated will go a long way to improving our retrospectives in the future.
The team was able to help me on something I was stuck on.

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