6

After a team is established and has been stable for a while, what sorts of day-to-day routine work should the scrum master be doing?

9

Routine remains the same

Scrum Master's routine remains the same even after the team gets well adjusted to Scrum. It is possible that Scrum Master may have to spend less time on individual duties but the overall responsibilities & expectations remain same. Some of which are as follows:

  • Identify and remove impediments in team's progress
  • Help and foster continuous improvement through retrospectives and learning
  • Make sure that Scrum events are being conducted
  • Coach the team in self-organization and cross-functionality
  • Supporting and evangelizing the rules
  • Fixing problems which are not considered a problem
  • Encourage openness and transparency
  • Facilitate team building activities
  • Be a servant leader

Scrum Master having development tasks

Scrum does not stop SM to work on development tasks just like a regular team member. If time is available after performing all the required SM duties, dev tasks can be taken up by a Scrum Master. As per Mike Cohn:

A dedicated ScrumMaster is great, but it is not economically justifiable in all cases.

  • 1
    Besides the excellent list presented above (upvoted too), one of the best things that the SM can do is to teach team members to come up with better estimates. If the team is working in steady state, it is a great time to spend a few extra cycles in retrospective. – Amrinder Arora Nov 24 '15 at 23:13
2

I would say that above all of the "traditional duties", the SM (or any agile coaching role) should always be trying to make themselves obsolete, i.e. transferring their lenses, mentality and approaches of self-improvement to the team, instead of always trying to facilitate the improvement cycle. It's the "teach them how to fish" adage. :)

  • Would trying to make themselves obsolete include putting the onus on a team member for things such as watching for stalls in story progress and sprint progress? – GaTechThomas Nov 19 '15 at 22:17
  • @GaTechThomas I prefer to transfer perspective and mentality rather than explicit practices, but that is a long-term strategy (describing) vs. a short-term strategy (prescribing). The main problems I've seen with explicitly transferring a process or SM task is that it significantly reduces the ownership - and therefore impact of the process - and it often skips the "why" aspect, which is a critical part of the mentality when trying to become more agile. – Jeff Lindsey Nov 20 '15 at 14:09
  • That's a big point you make about ownership. For things that have been transferred from SM to team that the team keeps forgetting, what would you suggest? Push it back to SM? Have SM watch the item but have the team continue to own it? – GaTechThomas Nov 27 '15 at 15:49
  • I would first (re)confirm if the team feels this specific thing we do is valuable, and that they are ready to own it going forward, which for me includes improving it. If they don't, we drop or replace it. If they do, yet they still drop it, there are a few next steps I might take that are based on context - simply pointing out that they dropped it, asking how I can help, asking them if we can post our responsibilities or team agreements in a visible artifact, or even having another coach dig into it/do the next retro if I think they're not able to be open with me about its value. – Jeff Lindsey Nov 30 '15 at 21:14
1

A Scrum master should work towards making him/her self obsolete in the scrum team. The team should be able to work as a self organizing team. Scrum master can work in another team, where there is chaos to be sorted "or" work with other Scrum master in the organization to inspect, review and refine agile processes at org level.

0

The Scrum Master has three major servant leadership topics:

  1. Serving the Development Team
  2. Serving the Product Owner
  3. Serving the Organisation

For a new Scrum team a Scrum Master usually starts doing the first two things: Teaching the PO how to be a PO, helping the Dev Team through the team building phases, making it perform. After a while the role changes more to that of an organisational coch in the third part.

A lookout what the SM could do following that first thing are various SM checklists:

http://www.scrummasterchecklist.org/pdf/ScrumMaster_Checklist_12_unbranded.pdf

  • Hi JanGret, welcome to PMSE! I believe the underlying question is how the Scrum Master could serve Dev, PO and the Organization on this day to day work... and the current answer as it stands doesn't answer this question. Would you mind elaborating a bit further? Thanks! – Tiago Cardoso Jan 18 '16 at 22:10

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