Scrum Master Mistakes

We all make mistakes as Scrum Masters. As we say “Scrum is easy to learn, but difficult to master.” We do our best and learn from our mistakes.

Mike Cohn talks about some mistakes he sees in his blog post “Three Mistakes Scrum Masters Make and How to Correct”.

I could have guessed the first and third mistakes he writes about. But, the second surprised me. Basically, Mike says the Scrum Master should not run the daily scrum.

I definitely have a take-charge personality and I do keep the daily scrum moving along by calling on people. And I think Scrum Masters need a leader personality in order to encourage the team to follow the Scrum principles.

I understand the desire to have a team which runs the scrum itself, but I’ve always seen my role as a facilitator. Now, I’m not trying to take over the scrum, but I’m making sure it doesn’t bog down, instead of being a silent observer. I regularly remind team members that they are sharing information for the benefit of the team, not for the benefit of the Scrum Master. Also, each Scrum team I’ve been on has had some remote members and calling on people was necessary at some point during the scrum.

However, I can see that a more hands-off approach will help the team become more independent and self-reliant. So this is something I will work on. I’ll ask the team to start the scrum and give the input without being prompted.

I can see another possible benefit. I mentioned earlier that the information shared in the scrum is for the benefit of the team itself. I tell my teams that the scrum’s purpose is to plan the work for the day so it supports the completion of the sprint goal. Although, I struggle to drive that ideal home to some team members. Sometimes input for the scrum can be too brief and not very helpful, or sometimes it’s more like a status report. Maybe a more team-driven scrum will help improve on this.

Let me know your what you think and what works best for you.

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