The Scrum Master is the organization’s change leader. The first step towards becoming a Scrum Master is to take a Certified Scrum Master® course. A Scrum Master is a different type of change leader because he does not use authority or prescribe solutions but instead encourages empiricism to take place. Our top-down approach to organizational change and prescribing certain solutions do not work in complex systems. The way one component reacts to changes in a complex system remains unknown. The best way to influence change in a complex system is to influence the interactions between individuals. The only way to accomplish this is to build a rapport with every individual. Taking care of the team means interacting with them as well as with senior management and other departments of the business such as People Operations and Legal. Changing the team dynamic will only result in a suboptimal outcome.
What Are Their Functions?
· Being Observant
It usually takes around 10 minutes between one session and another in the company. If not facilitating, training, coaching, or conducting a workshop, Scrum masters often spend time observing. When observing, we are looking closely with curiosity and without any judgment about patterns of behavior, languages, and interactions between people in the system. Observing is not meant to criticize or point fingers at the person performing the acts that created those issues. The purpose of observing is to gain a better understanding of why similar issues occur, why changes are slow to occur, or why things are perhaps not as they seem to be. The purpose of observing is not to judge but to understand.
· Playing an Active Role in Listening
Observing and listening are very similar activities. When observing I do it deliberately from a distance but when actively listening I do not necessarily do it deliberately. Working in the middle of the room or training a team, or even facilitating a group session, can be examples of active listening. In active listening, there isn’t just any attention given to the words people are saying, but also to the non-verbal signals they are sending, including energy level, body language, facial expression, words they use and do not use in communication, and even silence.
· Keep Your Mind Open by Pondering
Scrum Masters often make mistakes after a training session, a facilitated session, or a coaching session. My time is also spent contemplating and remaining mindful in addition to observing. We contemplate in order to rethink what went wrong and how to improve next time. Contemplation can help us release our judgment about ourselves and find peace with why certain sessions did not go as planned. Thinking about your approach when coaching or training people might result in a better plan.
· Upgrade Your Skills
It’s necessary for Scrum Masters to be comfortable dancing with unpredictable outcomes in a complex domain. Scrum Masters have been pulled out of nowhere to facilitate an event for which they are unprepared based on my experience. It is not possible for a Scrum Master to say, “I am not prepared for this.” Sometimes the agenda of a meeting emerges in an agile environment. For a Scrum Master to dance at the moment, he or she needs to continually upskill. Scrum Masters in the industry do not continually learn and upskill themselves and instead teach their teams about continuous learning.
The following are some activities a Scrum Master does that are not obvious and are actually valuable to the organization. Scrum Masters often appear to be doing nothing when they are performing these activities. It takes different thinking to understand the value of a Scrum Master. Scrum Master activities such as those mentioned above have actual value. To get a Certified Scrum Master® course, checkout KnowledgeHut and go through the learning program for scrum master certification.