Scrummastering: the art of making things visible?

In Agile, Agile Coaching, Coaching teams from forming to performing, Scrum Master by chuzzeteLeave a Comment

A month ago, a new #ScrumMaster joined the Lean-Agile team that I’m working with in one of my clients.

Since its arriving, he wanted to make his mark on the two scrum teams that he was working with. Meaning for example:

  • Enforcing team members participation in daily stand ups.
  • Taking the lead and responsibility over team’s action items after a given retrospective, instead of helping team members do it

What do you think about it?

I want to invite you help me answering the question, by asking yourself the following ones:

  1. What’s the role of the Scrum Masters in a Scrum team? It’s to fix things or to make it visible so then the team/organization get things fixed?
  2. What does the organization expects from their teams to become, when using Agile frameworks like Scrum? Be able to adapt quickly to change? Make work in progress more visible to be able to make quicker decisions?make and own their decisions autonomously? More flexibility? Be able to spread knowledge across domains? Become learning systems? What?
  3. What’s the value of Scrum Masters within organizations and around the world? Is that to be the proxys of upper management? Is to help people learn and grow? What about transparency, visibility and role modeling? Are we there to inspire people to change for the best of the organization and themselves? Are we the sheppards of the Scrum process? What is the outcome of our work? People’s and organizational behavior change?

Trans-forming though of the week

What would be different at work, if as Scrum Masters, we become the mirror of the organization? What things you might need to adapt in order to do that? What fears you might need to fight?

A suggested starting point

I like to invite you to start by making things visible first using the following tools:

  1. Observe carefully at people’s interactions, also to what words are used when people communicate with each other.
  2. Feel the space and try to sens if it feels comfortable or comfortable to be in that specific place.
  3. Take notes and assess your perceptions. I like to invite the Scrum Masters that I coach, to pick and choose a Scrum Checklist to assess their own observations about how a given team is doing regarding the framework and then invite the team to do the same.
  4. Reflect back to learn about yourself. Take a moment to read and digest your findings about your new team. Now ask yourself, what’s off and try to find within yourself why. I assure you, it might surprise you what you are going to find. Important: ask your Agile coach to help you out with it, it might speed up the process.
  5. Share your perceptions. Now you seem to be ready to share your perceptions. So take the results of your assessment (step 3.) And when both parties are done, invite them to have a conversation, I mean between your new team and their managers, sponsors. The idea here is to create some perspective about how the team perceives itself and how you perceived, discuss potential gaps and take actions to fill those gaps.
  6. Do it again

I wish you have enjoyed my story but I’m curious to know about yours.

Time to take action

Did you like what I wrote and want to see more?

Here some options that I have for you:

  1. Support my writing by getting a copy of my book Forming Agile Teams
  2. Encourage me to keep writing the second workbook of the Agile teams from forming to performing called “Storming Agile Teams“.
  3. Register to my upcoming workshops: “Facilitating Agile Retrospectives“, “Coaching Agile Teams for the sprint/iteration planning“.
  4. Share this post with your colleagues and friends.
  5. Be good with yourself and smile 😃 to the world 🌎

All the best,


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