"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change!" - Charles Darwin

Thursday, 30 August 2012

The hard job of growing great Scrum Masters

Back to trenches after restful summer vacations, I was reflecting about what could be my focus areas for the last part of 2012 as an Agile coach.
Feeling me committed as Certified Scrum Professional to the Scrum Alliance motto "Transforming the world of work", I was wondering what could provide me the highest Return On Investment, given the always scarce resource of my available time and the goal to be a change catalyst for my organization.
Then, as a careful Product Owner, I made some calculations: if I coach a team of 7 people, I will get 7 agilists in the best possible case, but if I coached 7 Scrum masters, I could theoretically get 7 team of agilists.
So: what would you do?
Yes, one of my focus areas should be coaching Scrum Masters to get great Scrum Masters and eventually good Agile coaches to coach even other Scrum masters in a domino effect leading to the transformation of the world around me.
Great plan, you would say, but...
I don't like "Yes, but...", but there's a "Yes, but..." this time. 
If you are satisfied in growing average or inadequate Scrum Masters, well it is not a big deal, BUT most of the troubles we have also in our private life are due to the fact that there are too many inadequate or average people around. 
Instead the biggest concern of an Agile enterprise should be to build self-developing high-level professionals in all roles, including world class developers and high professionals as Agile leaders, either Scrum Masters, Product Owners or Managers: all require high skills, correct behaviors and discipline.
Focusing on Scrum Masters, if you want to get an idea about what a great Scrum Masters should do and how he should behave, you might want to have a look at the Scrum Master's checklist website.
Said that and given the incredible amount of skills a good Scrum Master is supposed to have, growing a great Scrum Master becomes really a hard job, which implies using a lot of different tools and approaches to get the learning through.
I consider 3 pillars as fundamental:
·        Training
·        Mentoring
·        Self-Learning
In particular here is what I found in my experience relevant to be addressed with an apprentice Scrum Master, meaning a person having worked for a while in a Scrum team, willing to become a Scrum Master and, most important, passionate to learn:
·        Dedicated training for a diversified skill set, ranging from Agile leadership, Coaching techniques, to “How to write a good Product backlog”, to SW craftsmanship
·        2/3-months mentoring from an experienced Agile coach, co-preparation of Ceremonies, co-coaching and, what everybody always finds very valuable, concrete feedback by real observation in the daily work
·        Since agility, as we said, asks for self-driven competence management, where people actively educate and improve themselves, self-learning is an essential part, including participations to CoPs, reading blogs and books, watching webcasts or listening to podcasts.
Whether you find this interesting for you or not, enjoy your own journey in transforming the world of work, whatever it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment