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I am the ScrumMaster… koo, koo, cachoo

It’s official, I am a ScrumMaster! My “official name” (the one usually only mentioned when I’m in trouble or buying a house) is even on the Scrum Alliance website.

I’ve been working in an agile environment for over a year now and while it might not be the right tool for every project,
it has a lot of great aspects. If you aren’t familiar with Scrum, here’s a brief introduction or my “Fitz Notes”.

Scrum is a just a way to get things done. There are 3 primary roles on a Scrum team, and everyone is considered an equal stakeholder.

  • Scrum Team – people in the trenches working on the project (usually no more than 9 or 10).
  • Product Owner – The liaison between the Scrum Team and stakeholders.
  • ScrumMaster – helps the team constantly improve by facilitating meetings, and helping remove impediments.

Projects are time-boxed and developed in “Sprints” and can vary in length (we work in 2-week sprints). Each Sprint the team works to build a “potentially” shippable product increment. We use a Scrum board (we use JIRA) to track task and progress for each Sprint.

The task are discussed in a Sprint Planning Meeting before each sprint by ALL the stakeholders. Each member discusses the project and the task in a quick-never-more-than-15-minute daily meeting during the Sprint. There’s a “Sprint Review” meeting at the end of each sprint for the team to discuss and demonstrate the work that was completed during the sprint and “Sprint Retrospective” meeting to find out what the team did well and how we can improve for the next Sprint. There’s a lot more to Scrum, but this is my redneck definition of the basics.

ScrumMasters aren’t really the team manager or boss. Their primary role is to work with the product owners to facilitate the Scrum Processes and remove any roadblocks for the team. I believe the simple mission of a good ScrumMaster is to try their best in making sure the team is effective and successful. My primary goal as the “ScrumMaster” is to be a “Servant Leader” to the team.

3 things I like about Scrum

I recently started working on a Scrum team and just finished a Scrum Essentials class. So far I really am enjoying working on a Scrum team. Some people complain about the Scrum process for a number of meetings. I can’t believe I actually like (some) meetings now, well I’ve never minded “productive” meetings and the Scrum meetings seem to be productive and focused on getting results.

3 of the coolest things I like about Scrum so far…

  1. Constant Improvement – The entire process seems to be focused on moving forward and how we can get more done as a team.
  2. Transparency – Using a Scrum board, we know exactly what’s going on and each member of the team knows what we need to do to achieve our goals.
  3. The Rituals – I like the structure, we have set processes like setting goals, planning, and refining that we don’t deviate from.