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?
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.
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. :)
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.
The Scrum Master has three major servant leadership topics:
- Serving the Development Team
- Serving the Product Owner
- 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: